1-4-07 A group opposing a proposed coal-burning power plant say they're trying to spread the word about the possible consequences that plant could have in our area. They are specifically targeting the health and environmental affects.
In December a state judge upheld the plan to fast track the permit process of a coal-burning power plant in Savoy. A decision will be made by April whether or not to build the plant.
Now members of CORE, Citizens Organizing for Resources and Environment, are trying to educate poeple on what they say are environmental hazards before a decision is made.
About 100 people met at the Community Specialty Hospital in Sherman for the health forum Thursday night. A panel of CORE members and experts in scientific fields spoke out on possible environmental and economic impacts of the plants.
Janet Kern, a neuroscientist, said mercury is just one of the possible pollutants the plant could create. She went on to say research shows mercury has been shown to cause autism in some children.
Last month, TXU brought in an expert who said the proposed plant would not emit levels of mercury that would be dangerous to human health.
CORE members say more time is need to research all possible effects before the state makes a decision. The usual process time is 18 months, this process will last six months.
"They'll have somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-50 year life span.," George Diggs, a biology professor said. "And so why have a rushed job? Why not look at it in a deliberate way to see what are the best possibilities?"
Other experts say the plant coule also cause property values to go down.
TXU officials were not present at Thursday's meeting. They maintain their position that these plants will lower energy rates and use newer, cleaner technology than the current natural gas plants.
State representative Larry Phillips also attended the meeting and said these plants will be a key issue when the Texas State Legislature begins its session next week.