Freedom - Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition, and the capacity to exercise choice; free will
Choice - The power, right, or liberty to choose; option
Democracy - The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
We live in a democracy, where the common people should be the source of power. That power is one of choice. We believe in freedom, including exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition. And there is no question that the imposition of a 750 MW coal-fired power plant with out-of-date technology on the community is an unpleansant and onerous condition. But what happens when freedoms collide? Is it not also the right of the corporation, considered an individual person by our courts, to locate where it sees fit? Does it not also have a right to pollute our lungs and waters for years to come, and destroy the delicate balance of life by changing our climate?
The question becomes one of whose freedom: the community's or the corporation's. And when we live in a democracy, it should be the choice of the common people, the community. But that only happens if the community makes their choice known - if they speak up. We know what LS Power wants. They have proposed a 'public' forum to tell us what they want: http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2006/04/14/news/metro/2911f43d879d80a786257150004aff69.txt.
But is that really a 'public' forum? Individual questions to LS Power, their responses. That is not communal, not community, not democracy. Show up and make it so - let freedom work, make a choice.
In terms of choice, some would have you believe that a 750 MW coal-fired power plant is the only choice we have. That we need electricity, so we need coal-fired power plants. But that's just not true: Iowa doesn't need the power. Even if we did, MidAmerican Energy is adding another 545 MW of wind power capacity already. We don't need old coal technology. We can, through the Iowa Utilities Board and our other government entities, choose wind. We can choose biomass. Or we can keep quiet, and let LS Power choose coal for us.
They want to stick Waterloo, Dewar, Dunkerton, Cedar Falls, and all of the other communities in the area with their pollution, their trains, their cancer and asthma, their 400 ft. tall stack. In exchange, they'll take the profits and sell the power out of state. Or you can say no. Sign the petition, write a letter. Come to the public forum on May 11th. Make your choice heard.
It is time to create new guards for our energy security. Forms of energy that safeguard our health and future, not destroy them. Pursue your happiness the way you want it, not the way the corporation tells you to. Exercise democracy, freedom, and choice.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. "
- The Declaration of Independence