SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

December 31, 2013

Column: They got their wish ... and now they don’t want it

(Continued)

At that time, they begged PG&E, as opponents to the Salem plant, “pushing instead for conversion to natural gas." ...

Just as this was going on, in a Canadian seabed far, far away, an 810-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline was being constructed to deliver natural gas ... right to the middle of Beverly Harbor, to within a mile of the Salem power plant. Could this be the thing to make HealthLink’s long-desired wish come true? ...

Getting it here wasn’t cheap: nearly $2.4 billion was invested. But it is here ... What HealthLink wished for ... is now closer to reality today. ...

In addition to a new, cleaner power plant, located right next to the SESD sewage treatment plant, the new company will also clean up the entire 65-acre site to reusable standards and remove Salem Harbor’s 60-year-old eyesore. This will leave nearly the size of five Salem Commons for future development. Who else will step up to the plate to get that done?

So, seven years ago all of this agitation ... prompted the state, via the Patrick Administration, to conduct a comprehensive study as to how to improve the air quality by 2020 and other issues. In a recent Salem News story, that same 2008 “Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan” was cited and supported by Marblehead Rep. Lori Ehrlich and her aide, as her basis for trying every alternative under the sun but a new gas power plant to solve the problem as she understood it. An inconvenient act of omission on her part.

Conclusions included in this lengthy report described many possible ways to lower carbon emissions by 2020, and it made numerous recommendations, big and small, on how to get there. All the usual utopian plans (many read years ago in Popular Science) were included, and it is those shirttails she has been clinging to most recently.

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