So the generation VP came out to the plant on Thursday to give us the scuttle (get it; coal..scuttle...ok, it amused me!) on the future of the plant.
NOTE: These are my "lay person" interpretations of what we were told. The DEQ and several other entities identified by letters...have not accepted the proposal made by PGE to add environmental protections to the plant over an extended period. At this point, it's do it all now (at a cost of $600M) or close the plant. PGE is asking for a slight extension to make a new proposal, but basically, the choice is: Spend $600million on a coal plant that will have outlived its expected production life in 30-40 more years anyway...or spend the same $600million to build a new plant that does not use fossil fuel. Hmmm... Not hard to guess what the answer will be. PGE already has an approval to build a gas powered plant on our same site, but this plant will NOT produce enough power to replace that currently provided by the coal plant, nor will it require the same number of employees. Long and short of it: in my view, the coal plant is soon to be put to rest, a gas plant will be erected at Carty Reservoir and another gas plant or hydro will be built on some other site.
Do the environmentalists, who use big companies like PGE as examples to make a point, ever consider the bigger picture? I'm all for protecting and taking care of the world God entrusted to us. But the fossil fuel exhaust fumes from the millions of cars on the road certainly have a bigger impact than a coal plant. And..Power rates will go so high if we rely on currently available renewables (wind mills, hydro), average families will be unable to heat their homes. Additionally, what happens to all the folks put out of work...and I'm not just talking about the Boardman Coal Plant employees, but the railroad employees who run the train that brings the coal, the coal mine employees that provide millions of tons of coal to the plant. And Boardman is not the only plant on the current government's hit list....
Just saying - it is my opinion that we are throwing the baby out with the bath-water.