Noted Heidi Heitkamp Supporter Accuses Coal Plants Of Murdering People, Advocates Shutting Them Down
Liberal Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp is fond of casting herself as fossil fuel friendly. She is, after all, trying to get elected in North Dakota which is a state made prosperous by the responsible development of fossil fuel resources like oil and coal.
But Heitkamp, a former EPA lawyer, is also a staunch supporter of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Heitkamp has said that she would vote to maintain Reid in his leadership position should she be elected to the Senate. Reid’s super PAC has even been running ads on Heitkamp’s behalf in North Dakota, attacking Republican candidate Rick Berg’s mother.
So it’s hard to imagine how Heitkamp can both portray herself as friendly to fossil fuel energy development while simultaneously supporting, and being supported by, someone as vitriolic about fossil fuels as Reid is. At a Nevada green energy conference today, Reid accused coal plants of murdering people.
If you want to know why there was consternation in the North Dakota coal industry over Heitkamp getting financial support from the ND Lignite Council, this is why.
During the summit — which also featured panels, speeches and presentations from industry and government officials aimed at promoting the continued growth of wind, solar, alternative fuels and other innovative technologies — Reid leveled harsh criticism at a controversial coal plant in his home state, the 557-megawatt Reid Gardner facility. The plant, which powers about 335,000 homes in Las Vegas, sits next to the reservation of the Moapa band of the Paiute Tribe.
Reid assailed the plant’s 2.8 million tons per year of carbon dioxide emissions along with high levels of other toxic emissions, such as arsenic and mercury, and particulate matter emissions.
“The soot — and the dangerous chemicals inside it — is literally killing the Paiutes,” Reid said. “It’s no secret coal plants kill. Each year, more than 24,000 deaths are attributed to emissions from coal-fired power plants in the United States alone.
“That’s why it is time to close the dirty relic, Reid Gardner,” he added. “Each of you, just imagine living two football fields from thousands of tons of poisons, ever present, always spewing their toxins on your home.” …
Reid said retrofitting the plant should not be an option and that NV Energy should instead expand renewable energy generation like solar power, which has seen costs come down as deployments rise. The utility, he said, “should turn out the lights … forever” on the coal plant.
“The more dirty coal we use, the higher the price of coal gets. The more solar power we use, the cheaper it gets,” Reid said. “Shutting down this one coal-fired power plant won’t save the planet all at once — but it would save an Indian homeland.”
Just so we’re clear, the sort of green energy development Reid is talking about is costing federal taxpayers billions of dollars while producing energy that his several times more expensive than that produced by the fossil fuel industry. But then, the goal of these green energy projects usually isn’t so much energy as lining the pockets of politically well-connected investors.
But I wonder, should Heitkamp be elected to the Senate and Reid needed her vote on some ugly bit of regulation that would hurt the fossil fuel development that is so vital to North Dakota’s economy, would Heitkamp side with voters? Or with her good friend and ally Senator Reid? When the rubber hit the road, we saw Heitkamp’s fellow Democrats like Senators Dorgan and Conrad, along with former Rep. Earl Pomeroy, vote with their party over North Dakotans on health care.
Why would we think Heitkamp is any different?Tags: coal power, epa, harry reid, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News