March 28, 2007, - 2:50 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Global warming zealotry can kill.
In fact, it’s killing the small town of Colorado City, Texas, where environmentalists put the kabosh on a coal-fired power plant, which would have saved the dying railroad town of 4,100.
TXU Corp. planned to build a coal-fired power plant there and in seven other economically needy towns across Texas. But environmentalists lobbied against the deal because coal-burning to make electricity releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Cows and horses farting does that, too, but they’re not trying to kill them.
Here’s what they did kill:
COLORADO CITY, Texas – This old railroad town has seen its fortunes rise and fall more than once in the boom-bust cycles of the oil industry and cotton farming. But nobody here ever thought prosperity would ride on the global warming debate.
With efforts to curb “greenhouse gases” that most scientists believe are heating up the planet comes a downside in places like Colorado City (pronounced call-a-RAY-da).
This county seat of 4,100 was primed for an economic windfall from a coal-fired power plant that utility company TXU Corp. planned to build. After two New York investment firms bought TXU, the new owners agreed last month to scrap the proposed 858-megawatt plant here and seven others across Texas.
Environmentalists who brokered that deal were elated because plants that burn coal to make electricity release carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.
In Colorado City and surrounding Mitchell County, “there were lots of long faces,” Mayor Jim Baum says. “The plant would have been our salvation, even more so than the discovery of oil.”
Up to 3,000 workers would have poured in for three years of construction, spending their pay at local stores. The plant, once operating, would have provided more than 100 high-paying jobs and hundreds more in support businesses. Tax revenue from TXU’s estimated $1 billion investment could have cut local taxes in half, Baum says. . . .
Anticipating a conventional plant, the city had hurried up plans for $8 million in water and sewer improvements to handle housing that developers promised to build for an influx of newcomers. Schools were ready to acquire temporary classrooms for the children of construction workers.
Developers said they would build two motels on Interstate 20 through town. Cecilia Scott, director of Main Street revitalization, says new businesses would have filled most of the empty storefronts.
“So many people I know had made so many plans,” says Pat Taylor, a police officer here since 1982.
Because of the economic benefits, there are few opponents of coal plants here. . . .
The city ran a campaign to get 1,000 signatures on a letter to TXU supporting the plant; 2,600 signed.
Before the utility withdrew the plants, Dallas Mayor Laura Miller lobbied Texas towns to oppose them.
Dallas is under pressure to clean its air or risk losing highway money.
Yes, global warming zealotry kills. It doesn’t kill private planes or spacious mansions for the likes of Al Gore and Brad Pitt.
It kills dreams and a decent life for small town Americans, who don’t have those luxuries and are struggling to survive.
Tags: Al Gore, Al Gore-esque, Brad Pitt, Cecilia Scott, Colorado City, Dallas, Debbie Schlussel, director, director of Main Street revitalization, electricity, electricity release carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas, Jim Baum, Laura Miller, Main Street, Mayor, Mitchell County, New York, oil, oil industry, Pat Taylor, police officer, Texas, TXU Corp., USD