VLCIA biomass event Q&A

Here are videos that illustrate the VDT’s point today in What We Think:
While officials continue to downplay local citizen anger about current projects, citizens are organizing in a variety of ways to affect change the next election cycle. When Sterling Chemical came to Lowndes County in the 1990s, citizens were told the project was a “done deal,” and so it was. Sterling is still here, but those in office at the time aren’t, and the director of the Industrial Authority at the time is no longer here either.

As has been shown worldwide, citizens are tired of being told what’s best for them, having no say so in how their tax dollars are spent, and having their concerns ignored.

Until officials understand that it is coming from all directions and not just led by a few malcontents, the swell will continue to grow. And those who continue to ignore the anger and frustration do so at their own peril.

Maybe the VDT is referring to this kind of response from the VLCIA panel on 6 Dec 2010:
“these things do prop up the local economy, period, end of discussion.”
A previous questioner who had a job in Vietnam notes he was lied to about Agent Orange and asks “can you assure me that I won’t be affected by this?”

The answer is “as a toxicologist there will not be any health effects” “It is not about Agent Orange….”

The questioner wasn’t saying it was about Agent Orange. He said he was tired of being lied to.

Nowhere in any of the VLCIA panel’s 90 minutes of canned presentations on 6 Dec 2010 or in any of its answers to questions was there any hint that VLCIA might reconsider opening the biomass plant. VLCIA had already posted on its facebook page on 10 Nov 2010:

The Industrial Authority stands behind its decision for the construction of Wiregrass Power LLC and feels like this green project will be a win/win for the community.
I think that, like “period, end of discussion”, translates as “done deal”.

Yet an increasing number and variety of people are protesting that deal in a variety of ways.

It’s too bad we don’t have a video of the last question of the evening. Gretchen Quarterman asked why the VLCIA doesn’t instead promote efficiency and conservation, which would produce more jobs and then there would be no need for additional electricity. That was the only question that got a sustained round of applause. None of the panel’s answers got applause.

The moderator interrupts another questioner to say “we’re not going to get into debate”. When was there ever any real public debate about this plant, as opposed to VLCIA telling us all how it would be?

Here’s a playlist, and here it is embedded:

Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Videos of the VLCIA presentations will follow. Meanwhile, maybe the VLCIA will put on the web the videos the City of Valdosta video crew made of the whole event and turned over to VLCIA.