We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Monday, September 14, 2009

More KELO Bias: No Up Side to Big Stone II Roadblock?

KELO continues its corporate quackspeak. Sunday Cherlene Richards discusses the future of the Big Stone II coal-fired power plant, now in question thanks to the withdrawal of primary power pusher Otter Tail. Just like KELO's agitprop for Thune on President Obama's plan to save money on student loans and boost Pell grants, Richards's story is entirely one-sided. She talks with the PUC's Gary Hanson, who trots out the standard industry lines:
  • Big Stone II is "very important" for "reliable, base load power."
  • Big Stone II would be "wonderful" for more tax revenue and jobs and even wind power (a big coal plant would draw transmission lines, which wind farms could also use—a reasonable argument).
  • It will be "very disappointing" if the project doesn't go forward.
Commissioner Hanson's position is certainly reasonable. But it's also entirely unchecked by any discussion of opposing positions. Richards's story mentions none of the following reasons that we might actually want to celebrate if Big Stone II is cancelled:
  • Big Stone Lake already has levels of mercury contamination warranting consumption advisories. Coal plants are the single largest source of mercury emissions. Wind turbines don't pollute lakes.
  • Investing in a new coal plant now commits our children to more polluting, nonsustainable energy. Investing in wind is a better investment in the future.
  • Coal plants may create jobs, but their pollution also generates costs in health care, missed work and school days, and environmental clean-up. Wind turbines create economic benefits without those environmental costs.
Now I'm not saying that every story has to include every possible viewpoint. Heaven knows my stories don't. But then I'm writing a blog, which lots of people like to say is woefully inferior to all that good, reliable, objective journalism they get from the TV and newspapers. The professional journalists are supposed to be better than the blogs. They get paid to be better.

KELO's Big Stone II and student loan stories show that the objectivity, if not the superiority, of South Dakota's professional corporate media is a myth. We bloggers can be full of bull, but we also bring balance to the news. Take a cross-section of the South Dakota blogosphere—read, for instance, the Madville Times and Dakota War College on energy policy—and you'll get a better view of the big picture than if you just tune in to the professional media.

Read more on Otter Tail and Big Stone II:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.