Thursday, March 1

Tribune should be Ashamed at their Coal Plant Coverage

Don't get excited, I am not back from hiatus. However, today's Trib has spurred me to post.

I still really want to support the coal plant. In my opinion, this could be a great example of adding value of North-central Montana's natural resources here in North-central Montana. I like the idea of generating excess power and selling it out of State, instead of just mining the coal and shipping it out of State to be processed by "others".

However, the questions that GeeGuy has raised in recent weeks have given me substantial pause. As citizens of Great Falls (and therefore owners in Electric City Power, and by extension -- at least in theory -- SME), we have the right to know how our tax dollars are being used and we have the right to examine the business model of the Highwood Generating Station. I am offended (but not really surprised) that GeeGuy has been stonewalled in his attempt to get basic information about our commitments here.

If you didn't read it, there is a front page story today, leading into a full page of coverage on the Coal Plant on page 3A. The articles on the inside ask a series of questions on the coal plant, and quote replies gleaned from comments made by a series of public officials. The article was written by Richard Ecke, a man for whom I have a great deal of respect and who usually does a great job of investigative reporting.

Missing from these queries are most of GeeGuy's questions regarding the financing, feasibility, business model and taxpayer commitment. These questions need to be answered.

For whatever it is worth, I still think it possible that the Highwood Generating Station could be beneficial. However, the City, ECP and SME will have to put all of their cards on the table give us complete transparency for that conclusion to be really determinable.


minero de carbones hebreo said...

You are right on the mark. Pure logic that transmitting electrons is better than transporting coal. Electron will be at a premium in the future. Build as much capacity as you can, now!

Anonymous said...

Then, let us boycott the Great Falls Tribune. It's been a long time since I've purchased a copy. I'd be ashamed to buy one.