For Immediate Release August 14, 2008:
Contact: Rachel Kijewski, EvergladesEarthFirst@gmail.com; Panagioti Tsolkas 561-588-9666, PBCEnvirocoalition@gmail.com
Fort Pierce, FL - Everglades Earth First! and Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition denounce the opening of Florida Municipal Power Agency's Treasure Coast Energy Center (TCEC) for furthering dependence on unsustainable fossil fuel and adding to the cumulative impacts of regional pollution and water consumption. While this dedication is only for the 300 MW unit 1, FMPA has an ultimate site certification for 1,200 MW. The dedication event will begin at 11am, at Selvitz Road, north of West Midway Road, Fort Pierce.
The group cites the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in criticizing Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) for the concerns they have presented.
According to TCRPC, this plant is the primary component of their required Ten Year Site Plan for 2008-2017, which has been found "inconsistent with Strategic Regional Policy Plan Goal 9.1, Decreased vulnerability of the region to fuel price increases and supply interruptions and Strategy 9.1.1 Reduce the region's reliance on fossil fuels." (5/16/2008)
According to FWC, "Air quality impacts associated with fossil fuel-burning power plants include emission of greenhouse gases; bioaccumulation of methylmercury in fish and wildlife; increased regional haze; and acidification of lakes, rivers and streams (DEP 2005)… [We] are concerned about potential for adverse impacts associated with the cumulative effects of future units combined with construction of other proposed new power plants" (10/4/05)
Everglades Earth First! activist Rachel Kijewski, who is a resident of Port St. Lucie, says "This plant is an environmental nightmare which is connected to a whole list of fossil fuel infrastructure coming to Florida."
She cites proposals for new gas pipelines across the state and two new Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facilities on the table, one on-shore in Indiantown, the other off-shore in Broward, as evidence that utilities in the state are expanding their dependency on finite, carbon-emitting resources to accommodate new power plants such as the TCEC.
The reality of climate change, drought and cumulative air pollution demand that projects such as TCEC be abandoned in favor of renewable, decentralized energy generation. The TCRPC Ten Year Site Plan report suggests a "shift to rooftop photovoltaic systems".
Everglades Earth First! may not actually be present to attend the TCEC Dedication event, due to this week's trial of activists arrested protesting the construction of the West County Energy Center, an FPL power plant under construction in Loxahatchee, Palm Beach County, but they hope to be there in spirit.