Putting conservation into conservatives —John S. Quarterman

My op-ed in the VDT today. -jsq

Gov. Deal (WABE, 14 Nov 2012) temporarily forgot that “conservative” includes conserving something, like Theodore Roosevelt and national parks, or when Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge which also administers Banks Lake, when Richard Nixon started the EPA, and when Jimmy Carter signed the Soil and Water Conservation Act. If Gov. Deal wants to call conservation “liberal”, I’m happy to be a liberal working for water for our state!

Georgia Water Coalition’s Dirty Dozen

listed the biggest boondoggle of all as #11: the nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle suck up more water from the Savannah River than all local agriculture and almost as much as the city of Savannah.

If the new Plant Vogtle nukes are ever completed, all four will use more water than Savannah. In 2009 the legislature approved and Gov. Deal signed a law letting Georgia Power charge its customers in advance for building that boondoggle, to the tune of about $1.5 billion so far!

Let’s not forget

nuclear Plant Hatch sucking up water and heating the Altamaha, while coal Plant Scherer, at Juliette near Macon, the country’s dirtiest coal plant, sucks up water and emits toxic mercury that gets into the Alapaha River in our watersheds here in south central Georgia.

Better energy solutions are available and in use in North Carolina, California, New Jersey, and even Germany, the world leader in solar power.


For $1.5 billion

we could have already had more solar power online on time and on budget than the new nukes will ever deliver if they are ever finished.

Solar and wind power use no water,
emit no pollutants,
and need no coal trains from Wyoming.

With the conservation and efficiency

that Gov. Deal refused to prioritise, Georgia wouldn’t need additional power, and with solar and wind we can shut down dirty water-sucking coal and nuclear plants.

I call on Gov. Deal to stop wasting our water on reservoir, coal, and nuclear boondoggles and get on with conservation, efficiency, and solar and wind power for jobs and energy independence for Georgia.

John S. Quarterman

is a board member of WWALS Watershed Coalition, www.wwals.net. WWALS is an advocacy organization working for watershed conservation of the Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems watershed in south Georgia and north Florida through awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen advocacy.