Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Dirty Coal Power Plants are bad for the health of the nation. A major electric company (TXU) and our state government are fast tracking permits to construct 11 such power plants past unsuspecting citizens without regard for the health consequences. The issue of health care costs is a big issue. The healthcare costs are out of control. The incidence of illness is also increasing.
Governor Rick Perry of Texas has made his position clear on his web site. In his healthcare platform he “strives to make healthcare an efficient expenditure of taxpayer dollars, by focusing on health education and disease prevention.” This is an empty promise when he has encouraged the development of Dirty Coal Power Plants all over Texas. These plants will affect the health of all Texans’. The Clean Air Act proposed by Jefford’s will avoid 300 deaths per year in Dallas and 1176 deaths per year in Texas by 2020.
I have choosen a few paragraphs from Rick Perry’s current web site. It is clear he promises us one thing and does the opposite. The take home point is Governor Rick Perry knows what is right and tells us he is going to do the right thing for us. He then does just the opposite. He has it in his power to immediately stop these Dirty Coal Burning Plants that he opposes online.
Below are some of his pronouncements to the citizens of Texas.
Access to affordable professional medical care is important to all Texans. To this end Governor Perry consistently supported new professional medical schools to meet the growing health needs of Texans, led efforts to keep doctors and nurses from having to fight frivolous lawsuits in court instead of delivering health care, and promoted options for small employers to more easily offer private insurance coverage to employees. Because Texas spends almost $20 billion dollars a year on health programs Governor Perry strives to make health care an efficient expenditure of taxpayer dollars. By focusing on health education and disease prevention though programs such as child immunization, nutritional education, and personal fitness, Texas saves tax dollars and helps people lead healthier lives.
Protecting our Air and Water
To protect the Texas environment for future generations, Governor Perry require tougher standards for older power plants, provide incentives for local governments to implement cleaner technologies, and helped established pilot programs that monitor air and water pollution levels in near real-time so local officials can take corrective action before public safety is endangered.
The Texas Emissions Reduction Plan
Governor Perry signed legislation creating and extending the nationally recognized Texas Emissions Reduction Plan until 2010. This plan continues to help clean the air by replacing old polluting equipment with newer, cleaner technology. The governor helped triple the amount of plan funding spent on research and development so Texas can become a national leader in developing, verifying, and implementing clean air control technologies.
Promoting Clean Coal Technology
Governor Perry signed legislation providing expedited permitting and financial incentives to attract the U.S. Department of Energy’s (futureGen) zero-emission coal power plant. In addition to generating clean power, the futureGen project is expected to create over 11,000 jobs, and result in over $1.2 billion in total economic benefit if Texas is chosen.
How about that? In light of the eleven proposed TXU power plants this represents quite a contradiction doesn’t it? These plants will make us sicker, cost the state and federal government more medical care dollars and do nothing to clean up our air.
Today I received the following comment for yesterdays post “Our Sound Bite Society”:
You hit the nail on the head here, Stan. Well done.
It is all about having the technology to solve the problem but letting lobbyists and costs to those not at risk (the energy producers) rather than costs to those at risk (the public) dictate the policy. But who will be able to change a system where we have given the power not to the victims but to the assaulters?
I am optimistic. I believe we the people are going to have to take charge and change the system with the very technology that is solving other problems. The moochers are anachronisms in the new society.
Look at what Compact Disks did to Vinyl Records and Steve Jobs did to the CD industry. Innovation has the power to turn legacy system on its ear. Politicians and Lobbyist are going to have to watch out. Someone is going to come along and leave them in the dust. It is going to take a prepared mind with innovative spirit. The people will be there to cheer them on.