Tag Archives: Global Climate Change

Unanswered Concerns about the Biomass Plant

I’m quoting myself here, responding to Brad Lofton’s letter of 19 Sepember 2010.

-jsq

From: “John S. Quarterman”
To: <blofton@industrialauthority.com>, Leigh Touchton
Cc: [VDT and several elected officials; list available upon request]
Subject: Re: Brad Lofton, Executive Director Industrial Authority, doesn’t want his correpondence in the Valdosta Daily Times
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2010 14:08:17 -0400

Brad Lofton,

Leigh Touchton has forwarded me copies of the correspondence between you on behalf of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA) with her and the VDT.

I must say I don’t agree with your assertion that:

“The vast majority of her concerns for our project would have been answered two years ago if she had come to any of our forums…”
Here are some examples of unanswered concerns.

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“I’m amazed at how someone could dare say…”

Brad Lofton responds to Leigh Touchton’s letter of 16 September 2010.

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Date: Sun, Sep 19, 2010 at 7:54 AM
From: Brad Lofton <blofton@industrialauthority.com>

Good morning Kay, Sandy et al.

Our unprecedented effort of educating the public included numerous public hearings, briefings with all elected officials, the VDT Editorial Board and groups all across Valdosta. We’ve even spent a great deal of effort trying to brief the NAACP leaving messages and making numerous phone calls to Leigh Touchton that have never been returned. We’ve spent more time educating the community on this project then the sum of any other projects we’ve worked combined. I’m amazed at how someone could dare say that we’ve not informed the public. The vast majority of her concerns for our project would have been answered two years ago if she had come to any of our forums or if she would at least answer her phone when we call. Now that we’re moving into the third year of due diligence, she’s concerned all of a sudden.

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Leigh Touchton wonders what Brad Lofton is hiding

This message was sent to me by the author, who requested I blog it.

-jsq

Subject: My response to Brad Lofton, why doesn’t he want his correpondence in the Valdosta Daily Times? What is he hiding?
From: Leigh Touchton
To: blofton@industrialauthority.com
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 20:53:56 EDT

(Please see correspondence below mine which I am responding to: Mr. Brad Lofton’s email to his “stakeholders” which he doesn’t want to put in the newspaper )

Mr. Lofton:

My title is President of the Valdosta-Lowndes branch of the NAACP, I am not the Chairperson. I have a Master’s in Science in Biology from the University of Virginia, I have taught Environmental Science classes at the college level. It is incorrect and furthermore rude for you to refer to the President of the NAACP as part of the “misinformation on the street.”

I would be happy to deconstruct your arguments on the trip to Cadillac, Michigan, and how “green” Biomass Incineration can be. I invite readers to research all the Biomass incinerators around the country that have been shut down. They are banned in Massachusetts. They have been blocked in Florida. They show up in areas of the country where wealthy industrialists control the government and environmental regulations are lax. All the major environmental organizations in this country oppose them because they burn more wood that can be sustainably harvested. In the decade that is the hottest on record, in a crucial period in human history when life literally hangs in the balance over Global Climate Change, the Lowndes County Industrial Authority has decided to implement a Biomass Incinerator which spews more carbon dioxide than a coal plant.

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Industrial Authority Response to Two Letters to the Editor

The appended message from a tax-supported public official to many people about official business was forwarded to me; perhaps the public would also like to see it.

The CCA press conference he mentions seems to have been covered by the VDT in this article: to be about Private prison company picks Valdosta as potential site.

The rest of the letter is about issues related to the biomass plant proposed for Lowndes County by Wiregrass Power LLC (wholly owned by Sterling Energy Assets of Atlanta) and backed by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA), of which Brad Lofton is the Executive Director. Here’s the letter from Leigh Touchton of the NAACP to which he refers.

-jsq

From: Brad Lofton [mailto:blofton@industrialauthority.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 4:37 PM
To: ‘Brad Lofton’
Subject: Industrial Authority Response to Two Letters to the Editor Yesterday
Importance: High

Good afternoon everyone:

Thanks to all of you that were able to attend our CCA press conference and breakfast yesterday. We’ve had positive feedback today from around the region, and we’ve received congratulations from most of the other 15 communities competing for the project.

After reading the two letters to the editor yesterday, I felt compelled to e-mail our stakeholders to provide you an update with facts and information related to the biomass plant. We have intentionally avoided a response in the paper because we do not want to energize a forum for continued misinformation. Despite numerous town hall meetings and other meetings we’ve facilitated for two years, there is still plenty of misinformation on the street.

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LTE: Biomass is Environmental Racism

This is a letter to the editor that appeared in the VDT on about 17 August 2010.

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When Wiregrass Power chose the site for their Biomass plant, they put it near one of Valdosta’s most affluent black communities. There are at least six black churches:¬† New Life Ministries, Morning Star, Evangel Temple, Southside Church of Christ, Church of Prophecy, Church at Pine Hill. Two predominantly black elementary schools are in the area: Southeast and Moulton Branch. A large senior citizen assisted living community, Sands Horizon, is located in the affected area and serves over 60 families.¬†Scott Park, where the Sands Horizon residents enjoy outings and the local children enjoy baseball games, is located nearby. Huge apartment complexes with several buildings, Park Chase and Brittany Woods, whose residents are primarily people of color, are located near the proposed site.
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