Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


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Co-op members should seize power and stop coal plant

Tom Karas - April 20th, 2009
Co-op members should seizepower and stop coal plant project

By Tom Karas

How many times have you seen the bumper stickers “Lets throw Crap in the Bay, It’s the American Way,” “I love Old Technology: It Was Good Enough for Dad,” or “I Support Greenhouse Gas and Fewer Jobs”?
These may seem like idiotic examples of people willingly displaying dumb concepts, and that’s the point. Given the choice, most rational citizens would never align themselves with such nonsense.
That’s why your electric cooperative, whether Cherryland or Great Lakes Energy, works so hard to gloss over the decisions the directors make behind closed doors. In this case, to build a new coal plant in Rogers City. It’s common sense that, given the opportunity to choose, folks would want newer, clean technology that is cheaper than older, more costly contraptions. In Michigan, we would love to see lots of jobs created, not fewer. And in the Internet age, we have welcomed advances in technology when given the chance to choose.
But if you belong to one of the four electric co-ops in Northern Michigan, you are subsidizing the creation of a monster. Members have already donated over $65 million dollars that co-ops have set aside for financing of an outdated form of energy generation that will nearly triple your rates and crush real job creation.
Seriously, I know it sounds crazy, but a third of that $65 million dollars of your money has already been spent chasing a concept that has failed miserably in all other areas of the country. How many jobs in Northern Michigan do you think could have been created with 22 million bucks?
But as a co-op member, did you give your okay? Did anyone really explain all sides of the Wolverine coal plant project in Rogers City so you could be properly informed? Did they point out the rate increases to go along with 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide and 42 pounds of mercury annually going into our lakes? Of course not. The co-op directors are smart folks; they know the members would never go along with a plan like this, so they engage in a well funded disinformation campaign. Well funded by members like you, of course. And they got your okay for that too, right?
It’s not too late to change direction. You, as a member are also an OWNER. If you believe in the co-op business model, you have a voice. Sure, the $23 million has already been flushed away, but you can help stop $3 billion from being pulled from your pocketbooks over the next 30 years. You just have to get involved and let your voice be heard.
There is a source of information to help you get the full story of this ridiculous charade. Co-opConversations.org can deliver the details that your co-op board of directors has been hiding. Co-opConversations.org will show you how other Americans have stopped their co-ops from going to the dark side. And Co-opConversations.org is the last place your co-op directors want you to go. They have already spent so much of your money in message management, it would be awful for them to see their good propaganda go to waste.
You are a member that makes you part owner. This gives you a voice to use. Get the other side of the story, and then use your voice at the scheduled events at Co-opConversations.org. It’s never too late.

Tom Karas is a member of the Michigan Energy Alternatives Project, promoting clean energy for Michigan.
 
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