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Motives for opposing energy plant either confusing or selfish
June 19, 2013 - Mike Maneval
An exciting development was announced in mid-June in Puerto Rico, a development opposed, the Associated Press reports, by many. The opposition is baffling if taking the opponents' self-identification at face value ... but far less baffling if you don't.
The development is the granting of a key federal permit to construct a waste-to-energy plant. The plant, when finished, would convert household waste into electricity, and could serve as a model for enough plants in the future to both reduce our country's dependence on electrical generation from non-renewable sources and reduce the amount of property used for landfills rather than homes and businesses. The project also would create jobs, at a time our country needs them.
While the most radical or extreme environmentalists may not concern themselves with job creation, one would think the potential reduction in consuming non-renewable commodities to generate energy and in acreage dedicated to landfills would excite environmentalists, not only the reasonable and moderate varieties but the strident and unrealistic as well. And yet, the Associated Press reports critics of the proposal are invoking environmentalism in their efforts to prevent the plant's construction.
However, if you discard the green-tinted rhetoric - and living in rural Pennsylvania, where before anyone knew there was natural gas for which drilling could be opposed, people fought the construction of wind turbines and cellphone towers - and consider the opposition to be more rooted in "not in my backyard" provincialism, the criticism makes more sense.
The opposition, when linked to provincialism rather than environmentalism, no longer is entangled in the cognitive dissonance of environmentalists opposing diversification of the sources of American energy while shrinking the size of our landfills. It's just more ignorant, and more selfish.
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