Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

January 3, 2013

In Your View

ASHLAND — Blame it on drop in manufacturing

I’ve seen a lot of finger-pointing lately toward the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which was created to protect our environment, including the air we breathe and the water we drink. I’d hate to see what our environment would be like without the EPA.

By being a boilermaker who occassionally works at the Big Sandy Power Plant, I also am affected by the plant’s closing. However, I’m not going to blame the EPA for its closing, although I’m tempted to. And I’m certainly not going to blame State Rep. Rocky Adkins for not doing enough to save the plant.

While I’m disappointed with the decision by Kentucky Power Co. and American Electric Power, I understand it’s a business decision by a for-profit company (AEP). AEP through Kentucky Power was seeking approval from the Kentucky Public Service Commission for a 31 percent increase in our electric  bills to pay for the new environmental controls ($1 billion) at the Big Sandy plant.

Clearly, that request was not going to be approved, so AEP decided to purchase electricity for Kentucky Power from from the Mitchell Plant in West Virginia, thus costing Kentucky Power customers only a 6 percenrt increase in their elecric rates. It  was the right decision for AEP.

Natural gas prices have dropped so much it’s more profitable to build plants that burn this gas instead of coal  to create our electricity.

Coal companies must ship our coal overseas to countries that apparently have fewer environmental regulations. Why are China, India and other countries building new coal-burning plants while we’re shutting them down?

Manufacturing is the grease that keeps our communities’ economy running smoothly. If you want to point your finger at what the real problem is then point it in the right direction — the lack of manufacturing!

Terry Sexton, Grayson

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