Friday, May 26, 2006

the news leader is at it again

For any title in the News-Leader to include the word FACT is just truly unbelievable. This is after all the same paper that has misrepresented a petition drive to have the city audited, a misrepresentation of a pro american rally as being anti-immigrant.

Lets be focused News Leader and when you call the pot black make sure you also look in a mirror and call the kettle the same.

I don't know whether I'm for or against another coal buring, I'm more a nuclear power plant type since I believe it to be more ecologically sound. Does anyone know what they do once they remove all the coal out of the ground?

Keep SW2 debate focused on facts


Opponents' group tries to play dirty-tricks game.

Certain opponents of the proposed new Southwest 2 coal-fired power plant are up to their same old political games.

Yesterday, the Ratepayers for Affordable Utilities held a City Utilities-bashing session in an attempt to convince voters to turn down the June 6 ballot issue that would fund a 300-megawatt coal plant.

We have no problem with folks who disagree that Southwest 2 is the best, most reasonable solution to Springfield's future power needs.

We have no problem with Ratepayers spokesman Lee Gannaway taking potshots at CU's management. That's his prerogative.

But we do have a problem with Gannaway and his band of naysayers trying to present inaccurate information to voters at the last minute. That's what they did with a misleading flier that was mailed out days before the election two years ago. That's what they tried yesterday by taking facts about energy costs out of context.

Voters should listen to the Ratepayers' call to check the facts.

When they do, they'll find that group's arguments on the salient facts related to Southwest 2 miss the mark.

Amid all the rhetoric spilled by the opponent group at its news conference Wednesday, one point stood out. The Ratepayers believe that the better option for voters is to turn down the Southwest 2 plant and force City Utilities to enter into an agreement to be partial owners of a proposed huge plant in Oklahoma known as the Tenaska/GRDA project. To back its claim, the Ratepayers group points to the consultant's study paid for by CU to compare a variety of possible alternatives to Southwest 2.

The cheapest of those was the Tenaska project.

Gannaway said Wednesday that consultants Black & Veatch endorsed that move over building Southwest 2. He pointed to the letter from the consultants as proof.

He's just plain wrong.

The consultants did say the Tenaska project is the lowest-cost of the other alternatives considered by CU, but it says clearly, in a sentence Gannaway conveniently ignored, that "B&V concludes that SW2 is the most economic baseload alternative for the CU system."

It doesn't get much clearer than that. CU General Manager John Twitty made that point in a later news conference. The Tenaska/GRDA proposal would cost 5.04 cents per kilowatt hour — and that's assuming the project gets an air permit, which it lacks. Southwest 2's cost is lower, 4.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

What bothers us most about Ratepayers attempt to mislead voters is that it waited so long to make its point. Other opponent groups have been publicly engaged in this city's debate over power alternatives for more than two years.

They, too, disagree with CU over its decision to seek approval for SW2. They think there are better, cleaner alternatives, and they've argued for them and given voters a chance to make a decision. They haven't made the debate personal, as Gannaway did Wednesday. They simply disagree.

Voters should keep that in mind as the debate over future energy needs reaches its fevered pitch in coming days. Look for facts, not rhetoric.

We believe you'll see, as we do, that Southwest 2 is good for our city's future.

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