Thursday, May 28, 2009

BREMCO Loves Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. draws its power from the Duke Power grid. Eight power plants in that Duke grid burn coal that comes directly from the worst environmental degradation in modern American history, "mountaintop removal" strip mining in West Virginia:
G G Allen power plant, located in Gaston County, NC
Buck power plant, located in Rowan County, NC
Cliffside power plant, located in Cleveland County, NC
Dan River power plant, located in Rockingham County, NC
Marshall power plant, located in Catawba County, NC
Riverbend power plant, located in Gaston County, NC
W S Lee power plant, located in Anderson County, SC
Belews Creek power plant, located in Stokes County, NC

We have learned that BREMCO and other power cooperatives around the state recently bussed employees to Raleigh to lobby in our name against the Appalachian Mountain Preservation Act, which would have stopped state utilities like Duke Energy from burning coal extracted by means of mountaintop removal (which incidentally involves the burying of adjacent creeks with the waste rock and dirt, compounding the destruction).

When the bill's sponsor, Pricey Harrison, withdrew the bill because of the successful lobbying against it, BREMCO employee Renee Whitener sent out an e-mail crowing about the victory and congratulating BREMCO supporters for the success in making power generation in North Carolina safe for strip-miners in Appalachia.

As long-time members and rate-payers with BREMCO, we strenuously object to having the N.C. General Assembly lobbied in our names for the continued wholesale rape of West Virginia and other coal regions. Piously, BREMCO claims that using deep-mined coal would cost its customers more money, which is true ... some 47 cents more per month, according to Appalachian Voices.

We not only object strenuously to the lobbying muscle BREMCO used in our names. We object to the bogus "economics" of tacitly saying a few cents more per month in our power bills out-weighs the wholesale destruction of the mountains north of here because they were unlucky enough to have coal seams buried deep in their bowels. We're also not impressed by the tsk-tsking of various members of the N.C. General Assembly, saying they're totally distressed on the one hand by the reality of mountaintop removal coal mining and totally bulldozed on the other hand by N.C. power utilities to NOT do the right thing.

The "values" of mega-corporations are too often not human values. BREMCO does not represent us.

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