Friday, September 24, 2004

Southland local body elections just became important

Solid Energy is working on plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Southland. It would burn locally mined lignite coal - the dirtiest, filthiest sort, with the lowest energy content, producing particulate pollution, sulphur dioxide, and acid rain. While it doesn't have to be dirty - gasification allows for cleaner burning and for gases to be seperated out at source - burning it cleanly is more expensive. If we want to ensure that business takes a cleaner route, rather than dumping their costs on us as lung cancer and acid rain, we need to subject them to suitably tough resource consents. And this means electing people to Environment Southland who will set sufficiently tough air-quality standards and not simply rubber stamp whatever proposal is eventually put forward.