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Conspiring for coal, or so it seems

Bryan DeVoe
My Turn

Americans love conspiracies, and I think we have a good one here in Truckee. The Truckee Donner Public Utility District made a news release about its intent to sign a 50-year contract for a coal burning electrical power plant, with less than a two-month window for the public to comment about the proposed contract.

This contact, which was most assured of creating controversy, was released after the recent election that re-elected two incumbent members of the PUD board of directors.

It has been stated that negotiations were started about five years ago, yet the PUD did not reveal this to the community before the last election. Was this a public relations goof or was this intentional?

Throughout the year, the PUD releases newsletters from the PUD general manager that keeps the community up-to-date with what’s happening with the PUD, yet never mentioned the 50-year contract being considered.

It has been stated that the short time period for discussion about the contract is because of a new law that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2007. Now I am not sure when this new law was signed by the governor, but I’ll bet it has been a while.

So why this small window of opportunity for the public to provide input? Did the electrical manager underestimate public reaction, or did he create a short window on purpose to cut short public response, using the-upcoming new law to cut short a much-needed understanding of all the options available? What did he have to gain by all this?

And what did the two members of the PUD board, up for re-election, have to gain by a delay in the announcement until after the election?

This is-a hot button issue, considering the future of our earth’s atmosphere, that should have required these two members to have stated their positions before the election, as well as the other candidates that ran to express their position on the contract for coal-burning energy.

Glaciers are disappearing, and icebergs too, off the coast of New Zealand. Is this Mother Nature working on a normal schedule or is this mankind screwing things up?

We need more input-and time to know.


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