citizens of the Cedar Valley address the proposal for a coal burning power plant

Waterloo, Iowa

City Council meeting

May 7, 2007

 

 

 

c e d a r v a l l e y s p e a k s

Group 3

5. Linda Shatzer and I live on Newell Rd.

As a retired teacher, I am concerned about the future of young people in Iowa and especially in this part of Black Hawk County.

In an article in the March 29, 2007, of Reuters, Leonard Anderson wrote that many US college students are looking into careers in alternative energy. He states that green technology is having a heyday in schools from Illinois State to Harvard to Dartmouth; at UC-Berkeley the enrollment in energy classes is off the charts. Attendance at a recent student-organized renewable-energy symposium was nearly triple to the 500 expected. Some reasons sited for this new interest are: technological innovation, the rising cost of oil, conflict in the Middle East, and the public’s growing awareness of global climate change. Anderson ended his article by stating, “You might even say we’re finally learning our lesson.”

L.S Power builds their coal plant in our backyard. The 1200 construction workers have moved on, and we are left with a mega plant that employs 100 people. At the same time, all of these inspired excited young people are looking for places to start companies that provide alternative energy. Do you think they are going to be attracted to Waterloo, Iowa, where the leaders settled for 19th century technology right at the time new cutting-edge technologies were being developed to fulfill our energy needs.

Timing is everything. The signs are all around that the timing for this plant is not right. All we have to do is be willing to see those signs. Companies are advertising their use of wind power as a marketing tool (Coldwater Creek), big energy companies are begging Congress for carbon regulation (Duke), magazines have ads for residential wind turbines (Mother Earth News), articles are written teaching people how to get “off the grid”(Popular Science), large companies like John Deere are investing in wind power, and many young people are looking into to careers in alternative energy.

Let’s encourage the leaders of Waterloo and Black Hawk County to “open their eyes to the possibility” of attracting those young people with innovative ideas about our energy future to build their companies here.