by Max Brantley
Nothing like having a hunting club with deep pockets on your side in an environmental scrap. Such a club's lawyers have been scoring a succession of points in a power plant review by the state Public Service Commission. (The photo is of the site, where work is already in progress despite lack of PSC approval of the plant.)
Yesterday, the PSC agreed to modify an earlier protective order and release data about site selection evaluations for a SWEPCO coal-fired generating plant proposed for Hempstead County -- within easy poisoning reach of some prime wetlands and forest acreage. Some identifying information will be removed, but intervenors will soon be able to see how the Hempstead site ranked against sites studied in other states, such as Texas. The suspicion is that the Hempstead site ranked far worse. Why, then, was Arkansas chosen? The suspicion is that the company believed Arkansas would be the easiest rolled politically. Local establishment support for this monster polluter lends some support to the theory.
PS -- Here's a handy little flyer with arguments against the plant.