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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

The Texas Progressive Alliance would like to thank everyone for reading all of the weekly blog roundups this year. This is the last roundup of 2009, and we are all looking forward to 2010.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants everyone to be afraid of drug cartels buying our politicians. We’ve all seen what money and power did to health care reform. Imagine all that drug money buying power here. It’s time to legalize drugs and take away the profit.

You can’t make this stuff up at Bay Area Houston. GOP “Bubba” white supremacist wanted for murder.

Barnett Shale Communities can breathe easier after a VICTORY last week when TCEQ issued a new emission policy following the release of Texas OGAP’s Study: Shale Gas Threatens Human Health. Read the study and view documents TCEQ will use to record odor complaints and take necessary enforcement action.

WhosPlayin picked up on the TCEQ policy change, and also weighed in on strange comments by a Flower Mound Councilman explaining his vote not to impose an oil and gas moratorium. Speaking of councilmen, Lewisville has a teabagger councilman who wants to turn down a $913,000 stimulus grant from the federal government.

The Texas Cloverleaf looks at the potential for a contested party chair race in Dallas County. And, it is among the Democrats.

Xanthippas at Three Wise Men, on Robert George, the conservative Christian “big thinker” who dresses up old prejudices in new rationales.

Justin at Asian American Action Fund Blog is terribly excited that Gordon Quan is running for Harris County Judge.

Off the Kuff writes about Harris County Board of Ed Trustee Michael Wolfe, the silliest officeholder in Harris County.

Escalation in Afghanistan, a health care reform bill lacking a public option, and another climate change bust in Copenhagen has left a lot of Obama believers stranded at the intersection of Hope and Change. PDiddie has stepped off the bus; read why at Brains and Eggs.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the GOP property tax swap has fixed nothing, as most people knew back when it passed, The Texas GOP and the Texas budget.

Neil at Texas Liberal said that all of us in life seek the 60 votes of hope and kindness to defeat the filibusters of despair and anger. The Senate of life is always session so that we can rustle up the needed votes.

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By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, cleaner cars, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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Abandon All Hope…

…ye who enter the Turk plant.Turk Site

Last Thursday in Hope, Arkansas there were two meetings. One was widely attended, the other was not… mostly because hardly anyone had heard of it.

They hadn’t heard of it because it snuck in under the wire, with barely (if at all) the proper notices and alerts. It was a quorum court meeting, and on the agenda was a motion to approve a bond issuance “not to exceed” $185,000,000. Aside from one dissenting voice of sanity, the motion was passed.

It was passed without allowing anyone to comment, and upon only one reading.

Hempstead County and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation are now investors in the Turk Coal Plant, meaning residents and taxpayers are now on the hook for nearly 200 million dollars.

Why do they need this public backing? Coal’s dirty little secret is that it is on the way out, and everybody knows this. Power plants are constructed with a budget to pay off the cost of the plant over 20 or 30 years. Coal will soon become so economically unviable that these plants will be forced to close, leaving taxpayers and bondholders to pick up the check. How incredibly irresponsible.

Meanwhile, across town at the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, I and a few hundred other people were cramming ourselves into the library to listen and submit comments to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). They were holding a public hearing regarding mercury and other HAPs that the Turk plant will be emitting.

Employees from the plant were there, wearing florescent yellow t-shirts that said “Support Turk” on them. I wonder how many of those “employees” were contractors: temporary workers who don’t even live in Hempstead County, or possibly even Arkansas. Adding evidence to my suspicions was a documentary film maker present at the hearing who had filmed most of them leaving the plant earlier that day.

There was one local employee of SWEPCO who did give comments, and spoke at length about how much they all needed the plant because he had six kids and he needed his job with SWEPCO to take care of them.

He got the loudest applause of anyone the entire evening.

This same, poor, hard-working employee so concerned with supporting his kids has no concern for the destruction coal is wrecking on the futures of those same children. And not just the future of their health, but their economy too. Carbon legislation is going to happen during the next president’s term, and it will make coal so expensive that many coal plants will have to be shut down. Why, then, are we building new coal plants?

(Read the Entire Original Post on Coal Block)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This reminded me a lot of a BBC special I saw about Chinese coal plants and how the people knew the coal was making them sick but felt they needed the jobs.  Watch it below.  ~~Citizen Andy

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/MoBv9FC7WAM]

(BBC report on a coal plant in China)

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Original Blog from http://www.coalblock.org

August 9, 2008

I’ll be heading back to Austin soon where we hope to regroup and move on to the next steps in our efforts to stop coal plants. All in all I consider this Arkansas trip to be a large success. We had 77 people come out for the screening in Fayetteville and had over 150 in Little Rock. Many Arkansans are eager to unite and stop these coal plants in order to promote and move towards renewable energy generation.

Here in Hope, however, my spirits were a bit lower. We distributed thousands of fliers at the Watermelon Festival in


the “hope” of drawing people out to the screening and getting folks involved in the fight. We were unsuccessful, however, and the only folks who showed up to the screening were the local hunting club guys who had been fighting this plant since the beginning. We were unable to get any new local interest in opposing the plant.

It is in these local towns, closest to the plants, where the hardest fight lies. Many, if not most, of the locals see the plant as an economic boon, since the few of them who get jobs with the company are usually getting the best job they’ve ever had. Concerns about public health, environmental degradation, and long-term economical impacts are ignored or justified in the light of some industry, any industry, willing to invest in the local community.

As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it.” This was true a hundred years ago, and it is still true today – both for men and women. And as long as the majority of people in this country are kept beneath a yoke of low wages and corporate consumerism, the will of the people to acknowledge, much less fight, the ills of our age will be greatly weakened.

This is not just an American dilemma, consider this Chinese coal plant situation:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoBv9FC7WAM]

The companies who build these plants know this. This is why they choose economically challenged or depressed sites and communities for their projects. It is also why it is so important to find those few locals who are willing and eager to speak against the crowd and stand up for their health, the environment, and a stable and sound energy future.

With that thought in mind we are networking the few dedicated souls in Hope with the rest of the great volunteers throughout Arkansas in our efforts to stop these coal plants. With the momentum we’ve gathered I think we have a great chance of achieving the change we seek.

As with Pandora, all it takes is a faint glimmer of Hope.

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