Ruling halts construction of Longleaf Energy Plant - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ruling halts construction of Longleaf Energy Plant

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

July 1, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Fulton County Superior Court Judge ruled that the Longleaf Energy Plant must have a permit from the Environmental Protection Division limiting its carbon dioxide emissions. Longleaf Energy Plant would be the first coal-fired plant to be built in Georgia in over 20 years.

The plant will not only generate power for 14 states, but it would also bring a huge economic boost to the area. "It would bring 150 permanent jobs and approximately 1,200 jobs during construction," said Director of the Early County Economic Authority, Olin Thompson. 

But the plant is also expected to emit as much as 9 million tons of carbon dioxide and 4,700 tons of sulfur dioxide every year. "You can't see this fine particulate matter, but it goes in through your nose, into your lungs, goes through your blood stream, and blocks your arteries. It's just like fat or a greasy piece of chicken," said Friends of the Chattahoochee member, Robert McLendon.

"Personally, if I thought it would harm the environment, and we worked on it pretty hard, and harm my children and grandchildren, I would be opposed to it," said Thompson.

If the plant is constructed, it is expected to operate for at least the next for 30 years, generating millions of dollars in revenue. "It's in the neighborhood of three million dollars a year for Early County in coal alone, and a little more than that for the state Of Georgia," said Thompson. "It would lower the tax rate for the landowners of Early County. If it comes through, it would produce sales at our local merchants."

"We could sell our eco-tourism; our hike our trails, or hunt our deer, and ride our rivers with canoes, and fish our lakes," said McLendon. And Early County may have to fall back on this, if the Longleaf Energy Plant can't prove to the Environmental Protection Division that they will limit their carbon dioxide emissions.

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