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 8

7. Mike Young, 150 Pershing Rd, Waterloo

Good Evening, I’m Mike Young I live at 150 Pershing Rd, Waterloo
I also work in Wloo and am a member of the group Progress Cedar Valley, which you’ve heard a little bit about tonight. It think you’ve also received some literature from us earlier. Our group is comprised of local men and women who are independent of LS Power, and wanted to have an independent review of this power plant proposal. We formed specifically for this purpose, partially to answer that question we’ve heard a couple times tonight, to have an independent group look at this proposal, and that’s what our group has tried to do. We’re not experts but we’re independent.

What we tried to do in our work and our research and our due diligence was to try to talk to as many experts as we could. We met with representatives, engineers, scientists from the DNR, from the Iowa utilities board, we , spoke with community leaders and other communities that have power plants, we talked to people in communities that work at those plants. We met with a number of individuals, we read as much as we could on power plants, on coal plants specifically, on their effect on communities. We tried to look at the economic benefits and burdens, we tried to look at the jobs created, the environmental benefit and drawbacks as well. Ah, I could talk for along time about what we found out, the bottom line is that we found is that this is a good project we think for the community that we live in. It’s not perfect but no project is. But we found is that, there is a need for this plant. That the plants are good. Again they are not perfect but they are good for the communities that they are in. We tried to check out LS Power. We spoke to people in other communities where LS Power has worked. Everything that LS power told us they were doing checked out. We were basically able to verify everything…We didn’t have any surprises. Again I could talk for a long time about the different people that we met with and our research, I’ll just tell one quick story.

4 of us toured the power plant in Ottumwa, which is similar in size and scope as the power plant being opposed here. We met with the plant manager who told us about the plant and we asked him how it was viewed in the community and he said “very positively.” We wanted to verify that so we met with the mayor and the board of supervisors in Ottumwa b/c we though if anybody knew of complaints from the town it would be those 2 people. We sat down with them independently and asked them about the plant and they were very positive about that. And the 4 members of our group went and asked the mayor and the board of supervisors what problems, what drawbacks are there with the plant, and there was silence. And we asked questions about health concerns, okay asthma, what about asthma? And the Mayor said in 12 years he has never heard any complaints, healthwise from it. We said okay, what about the other things, property values, and he said nothing. We asked about truck traffic, train traffic, coal dust, he said nothing.
In fact he told us he had been thinking about that question for the week before we had set up the meeting, and that he couldn’t come up with any complaints they’d had in 12 years. And that to us spoke volumes. And b/c of that and b/c of what we’ve done, we think this project is good for our town and we urge you to approve this.