Energy policy — nuclear: New plant for Pueblo County?

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Peter Roper):

With nuclear power being debated around the world, a crowd of more than 200 people turned out Tuesday night to hear local attorney Don Banner try to persuade the Pueblo County commissioners to zone 24,000 acres for the possible development of a nuclear power plant here…

“I want to make you aware that you will receive national attention,” he said, noting that ABC News and CBS News had contacted him about his project. Denying the project would have consequences, he warned. “I think they believe this could be a bellwether of a small town’s reaction to nuclear power. There could be tremendous negative consequences for this community’s image.”

Tuesday’s hearing was just the opening act in the commissioners’ decision because only Banner’s supporters were invited to testify at the four-hour hearing. Opponents, and there are many, will give their side of the argument tonight at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, beginning at 5 p.m. in the ballroom.

More coverage from Peter Strescino writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Although Tuesday night before the Pueblo County commissioners was set aside for Banner and proponents of the plant, there were many opponents in the crowd, who listened politely, without loud comment. People on both sides of the issue nodded in either approval or incredulity at many points the local lawyer gone nuclear salesman proffered. The crowd thinned after Banner’s 80-minute presentation, which included solemn words for Japan’s dead and those threatened by the nuclear problems set off by the giant earthquake and the tsunami that followed.

Lon Stewart said he came to support Banner. “I’m an iron worker and there will be lots of work out there building the plant, 10 years worth of work. I lived near a big power plant in California most of my life and there were no problems with it,” he said…

Jacob ElBekhty said he disagreed with Banner and he’s tired of taxpayers subsidizing energy plants and not doing as much for renewables such as wind and solar. “I don’t believe what Banner says. I don’t believe we’ll get the financial benefits he says. “We already don’t get the benefits from the power plants we have here,” ElBekhty said. “But we get the problems.”

More nuclear coverage here and here.

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