MOORE HAVEN, FLORIDA -- In a communication to a Glades County commissioner, St. Lucie County Commissioner Charles Grande says FPL's proposed power plant in central Glades county is old technology and should not be allowed because of pollution emissions. The letter was sent to Glades Commission Donna Storter Long. Commissioner Long was the lone dissenter when the Glades Commissioners decided by vote to ignore a letter of caution from St. Lucie Commissioner Craft regarding the FPL proposal. The letter to Commissioner Long is published in full below:
"My name is Charles Grande and I am the county Commissioner for St Lucie County District 4. I'm sure you are getting all of the coal plant data on both sides but, I thought I should give you my sense of what caused our County Commission to change from a group eager to hear this proposal to help diversify our sources of energy production while bringing jobs and tax revenues to our county, to a group solid in their opposition who voted it down unanimously.
The points on both sides were many and compelling but, at the end of the day, after an enormous investigation effort, it became clear that FPL was intentionally deceiving us regarding the fact they were proposing an out of date technology while trying to offset the clear dangers with a very advanced "scrubbing" process. We learned that the "pulverized" coal burning
process had been replaced by "Gasification (IGCC)", a process light years better because the process itself removed almost all of the harmful elements up front, during the process of gasifying the coal, before burning.
While this far more modern technology cost about 20% more in the capital construction cost of the power generation portion of the facility, much of the extra cost was actually recovered by the elimintion of the cost needed for scrubbing emissions produced by a pulverized coal plant. The differences in such lethal emissions as mercury are stunning. It is clear that the only reason pulverized coal plants are stll allowed is that standards geared to the really clean burning IGCC plants would outlaw all other existing coal plants which is simply not feasible in today environment. If backed into a corner, even FPL will admit that IGCC is the future while pulverization is the past.
There are gasification plants in operation all over the country with emission figures that put the plant being proposed to your group to shame. One operational plant is as close as Tampa. FPL is simply behind the times and unwilling to update their technological capability to the point where they would be competent to implement such a plant. The irony is, FPL is actually one of the better nuclear producers, a capable manager of gas production facilities, comparitively advanced in alternate methodoligies - especially wind, but well behind the curve in coal.
Again, their presenation team will seduce you with their "dog and pony show" but, if you take the time to become even marginally knowledgeable about the alternatives available, your decision will become clear and simple.
I hope the foregoing is helpful. Considering the jobs and taxes picture, I know you are in a tough position - we've been there before you - but your residents, like ours, deserve the very best FPL can deliver and this proposal simply doesn't make the grade."