Tuesday, March 24, 2009

ZNet article on Palm Beach activists jailed for protecting environment against FPL power plant

Very well-researched and thoughtful piece yesterday by Howard Lisnoff at ZNet, titled Jailed Activists Seek to Free Enslaved Environment, about the West County Energy Center (WCEC) in Palm Beach and the arrest and trial of the environmental activists who've tried to stop it.

As Lisnoff points out:
The [WCEC] power plant being built by Florida Power & Light will release 12.3 tons of carbon dioxide a year into an atmosphere already drenched and laden with global greenhouse gasses, and inject an astounding 13.5 million gallons of contaminated cooling water a day "into underground aquifers and allow it to seep into water bodies," according to Dr. Sydney Bacchus, a hydroecologist, who testified in defense of the protesters at their trial.
Lisnoff reviews the trial proceedings, interviews scientists and jailed activists Panagioti Tsolkas and Lynne Purvis in this well-researched piece, concluding among other things that:
In February 2008, scores of protesters momentarily stopped the construction of what soon will be one of the largest fossil-fuel burning plants in the U.S. They faced the power of an industry entrenched in the political establishment of Florida that can purchase enough lobbying muscle to do just about anything it wants done. These protesters faced jail time and a huge fine levied against them for acting out of moral courage in pursuit of the greater good. They faced a hostile judge and prosecutor who belittled the environmental alarm that is so apparent in South Florida. A huge amount of good science was thrown out of the courtroom in return for what was convenient and expedient for the purpose of supporting a major industry player in Florida Power & Light.
The full article at ZNet by Howard Lisnoff is available online, here.

For all those who care about our natural environment and what a giant energy utility can do to harm it if left unchecked, this piece is more than well-worth the read ...

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