Opponents say plant would turn Oak Creek into ‘Coal Creek’

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Opponents say plant would turn Oak Creek into ‘Coal Creek’

The organizers of Responsible Energy for Southeastern Wisconsin’s Tomorrow (RESET) are lining up their arguments against Wisconsin Energy Corp.’s plans to build three new coal-burning plants in Oak Creek.

— Coal-burning power plants are the single largest source of industrial air pollution in the nation.

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— Coal-burning power plants release more mercury into the environment than any other industry in Wisconsin. By contrast, natural gas plants emit no mercury, no sulfur dioxide and far less particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions.

— An expanded plant in Oak Creek would diminish property values, prohibit future development near Bender Park and the lakefront, damage agricultural crops, spew more mercury into Lake Michigan and scare businesses (and jobs) away from the region.

— The number of trains, "two miles long," carrying coal into the plant would double, disrupting the lifestyles and commerce of the community.

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— The new plant would require two smokestacks, each 675 feet high (higher than the U.S. Bank Center in Milwaukee).

— "Superconcentrated" solid waste would need to be stored on the site.

— The cheaper costs of coal generation would be far outweighed by the added costs on the environment and the health of residents in the region.

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Jan. 24, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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