Local citizens are making their voice heard, and that voice is a resounding "No!" to the proposed power plant east of Waterloo . In just a few short weeks, volunteers, faith congregations, and some local business owners have received more than 2,000 signatures on a petition opposing the plant. "I am all for economic development, but I believe that if everyone would go out to the web http://healthandenergy.com/coal.htm and do some research on coal fired power plants, they too would understand these plants are not a good long term economic investment. Don't stand by while Waterloo city officials trade our clean air, water, land and health for tax dollars. Get on line and get the facts. This concerns everyone in a hundred mile radius of the proposed plant location," says Gail Mueller. Mr. Mueller, who has been collecting the signatures, lives just a few hundred feet from the proposed site off Newell Street .
The petition isn't the only way the community has been expressing their opposition to the plant. Yard signs with the word 'NO' emblazoned prominently are appearing around the area. "It is critical at this point that people make their opposition visible through yard signs or by contacting their local and state elected officials. This is our home, our children are growing up here and this plant will for sure do long term damage to our region. There are alternatives to this. We should not have to put up with it," says Kamyar Enshayan, a member of Cedar Falls City Council who opposes the proposed plant.
Citizens oppose the power plant because of its impacts on the local community, not in spite of them. Those impacts include decreased air and water quality, increased health risks, decreased property values, increased traffic, and other public concerns. "This proposal is very different from the MidAmerican coal-fired power plant currently under construction in Council Bluffs. MidAmerican chose an existing industrial site, not a greenfield taken from some of the best farmland in the world. MidAmerican is investing heavily in renewable energy sources like wind, to balance their coal-fired generation. And MidAmerican has a track record in Iowa. We know what kind of corporate citizen they are. None of this is true with LS Power," says Carrie La Seur, an attorney specializing in environmental law. MidAmerican Energy recently announced plans to build an additional 545 MW of wind capacity in Iowa.