New power plant will

endanger lives of many

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

On June 21, the State Air Pollution Control Board approved a permit for the proposed Chickahominy natural gas power station. I am extremely disappointed.

My disappointment is two-fold: First, there was an obvious lack of communication between the plant’s investors and the people who live in close proximity to the plant — the information meetings about the plant’s construction were poorly attended due to inadequate advertising. Canvassing in the area close to the planned construction yielded outspoken and enraged community members who felt slighted by the lack of warning about what might come to their backyard.

Second, there was minimal discussion about why the power would come from natural gas instead of renewables. This plant was touted to be “cleaner” than all of its competitors — it would be more correct to say that this plant is “less dirty.” No fossil fuel combustion comes without harmful greenhouse gas emissions and natural gas is no exception. It’s crucial that our electricity generation doesn’t add unnecessary greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and this plant endangers progress towards a healthier planet.

There was a mention of the need for new energy generation to power development of data centers; the use of natural gas flies directly in the face of a letter signed by tech giants like Adobe and Salesforce, in which they explicitly express their desire for renewable power.

It’s essential to remember that county lines don’t determine where air pollution goes; just because the plant is in Charles City County doesn’t mean that the impacts will stay there.

Voting to confirm this plant’s permit is a choice that disregards the desire for renewable energy and endangers the health of current residents as well as future generations.

Riley Varner.

Richmond.

GI Bill did not benefit

service members equally

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In Saturday’s weekly Wrap Up, you quite rightly acknowledged and extolled the 75th anniversary of the GI Bill, which, as you said, “is credited with being partially responsible for the economic boom of the 1950s.”

But it’s also important to acknowledge that the positive benefits of the GI Bill did not extend equally to the African American service men and women who sought to avail themselves of its housing and educational opportunities. It is well-documented that structural obstacles prevented many veterans of color from benefiting to an extent comparable to their white comrades in arms. According to an excellent discussion of this topic on the History.com website, “the wide disparity in the bill’s implementation ended up helping drive the growing gaps in wealth, education and civil rights between white and black Americans.”

I hope that you will use your editorial voice to shed some light on this aspect of the GI Bill’s implementation. It is yet another reason why our country must make a serious attempt to address the need for reparations to our African American citizens.

Barbara Anderson.

Richmond.

Don’t erase past;

provide for present

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I read with interest Pamela Stallsmith’s editorial on renaming Jefferson Davis Highway.

How much longer will the anti-everything Confederate hysteria continue? The city of Richmond and commonwealth of Virginia should focus on improving our schools, finding homes for the homeless and providing food for the hungry. I find it very interesting Gov. Ralph Northam’s recent zeal for championing ideas like removing memorials and changing street names.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, said it best: “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”

We can learn from the past without renaming roads and removing memorials. We should focus on Virginia’s real problems. Changing the name of Jefferson Davis Highway is not one of them.

Claude Mayo.

Burke.

Trump’s Clean Energy rule

benefits coal companies

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The Trump administration’s official repeal and replacement of the Clean Power Plan is a blatant handout to the coal companies at our expense.

Not only will the so-called “Affordable Clean Energy” rule do nothing to address the climate crisis, it will assure that our dirtiest power plants continue belching pollution into the atmosphere, threatening the health of our most vulnerable citizens.

In this case, the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that this new rule will cause an additional 1,400 American citizens to die annually, numbers they are actively trying to bury. When inhaled, the fine particulate matter from coal-fired power plant smokestacks embeds deep in the respiratory system, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke and respiratory disease.

This rollback ensures that harmful pollution will continue to contaminate the air and threaten the public health, while coal companies cash in and the biggest polluters continue business as usual.

We suffer, our climate suffers and they benefit.

Roger Eitelman.

Richmond.

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