Friday, August 10, 2007

Wise County's Future?

According to the Bristol Herald Courier, Dominion Power expects a "challenging" hearing next January before Virginia's State Corporation Commission relating to the 1.6 billion dollar "clean coal" burning power plant proposed for Virginia City on the outskirts of St. Paul, Virginia. As I have posted before, opinions vary widely on whether this plant will be an needed economic boost or environmental nightmare for the region. I suspect that no one really knows the answer to that question, and I hope that the Commission will do a fair and thorough job of weighing the testimony. At least that would be the right thing for them to do, regardless of the political power (or lack thereof) of the concerned parties.

In the report, James Beazley, Dominion’s external affairs representative stated that "[t]he plant would need 800 workers during its construction and 75 permanent plant operators". He also added that "[t]he annual payroll would be more than $4 million and the facility could generate as much as $6 million in tax revenue for the county."

But Exeter resident Larry Bush had this to say about the proposal:
"Wise County is going to look like a moonscape. There is no such thing as clean coal. You can’t burn coal clean."

The full article is posted on the Herald Courier's website at

1 comment:

Jeremy Peters said...


Thanks for keeping a watch on this issue.

I noticed in the Coalfield week before last that the Board of Supervisors recently toured Dominion's Clover, VA power plant. It sounded like a Dominion love-fest if you ask me. My personal opinion aside, the plant they toured burns lower sulfur coal than the proposed plant would burn, consequently, it requires less coal, requires less water, and also produces a smaller amount of fly ash.

The Virginia City plant would create over 1 million tons of fly ash per year. That's over 2 billion pounds of ash every operating year. Say the plant burns coal for 30 years--long after the current Supervisors are gone--that's 60 billion pounds!

Their visit to the Clover plant wasn't really comparing apples to apples if you ask me.

Here are a couple of links on their visit if you want to have a look.