Coal Plant or No Coal Plant?

By: Trenton Davis
By: Trenton Davis

How the city should diversify their energy portfolio has been a hot topic and continues to heat up. City leaders have been flirting with the idea of building a coal plant and Wednesday they listened to opinions from community members.
Residents turned out at Tallahassee City Hall en masse to voice their opinions on how commissioners should increase energy production.
Some proponents say the city should move forward with the proposed plan to build a coal plant in Taylor County. "This will be an excellent addition tot he resource base in the Tallahassee area. Contrary to some other comments that have been made, it won't represent the health concern some people fear," says Christopher Teif, an adviser to the Taylor Energy Center.
Majority of those in attendance were holding signs objecting the coal plant. Many residents say they are in favor of clean energy. One of the leading opponents of the coal plant currently has a lawsuit trying to put a stop to the permitting process saying there is no benefit to a coal plant.
"No economic benefit, it's not going to reduce your bill. Adverse health impact. Adverse impact on the environment. It is a lose, lose, lose to be involved in their Taylor County coal plant," adds Brian Armstrong, a leading opponent to coal plant.
In all, nearly one hundred people were spoke before the commission to address alternatives for energy use.
Some of the options are to continue with the Taylor Energy Center, build a coal gasification plant in Tallahassee or remain using natural gas.
Conservation programs and biomass are included in every option.
A spokesperson for the Taylor Energy Center told commissioners they want Tallahassee to be a partner but if they elect not to do so they can find another partner within a week and they will continue to proceed as planned.
Nearly five hours of passionate debating came to an end and the commission still has yet to set a date when the final decision will be made.


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