A future chained to a poisoned past

Published 11:07 am Monday, July 3, 2017

To the Editor:

If readers hold up a figurative mirror to Mr. Fletcher Beasley’s 6.22.17 letter titled: “Two choices, neither leads to death,” they’ll see in his argument against Northampton County Citizens Against Coal Ash (NCCACA), that he’s actually talking more about VistaGreen.

Beasley accuses NCCACA of pushing “an agenda based off fear and propaganda” and claims that the group’s message is similar to the Nazi message, “join our cause or you will face hardship and death” and that NCCACA uses “eerily similar tactics.”

Beasley is offended by earlier comparisons linking VistaGreen’s coal ash plans to Nazisim. Yet he accuses NCCACA of using Nazi tactics.

He follows the Nazi belief that “propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively,” making sweeping claims that NCCACA doesn’t have the county’s “best interests” while never addressing citizens’ scientific and health fears concerning mountains of tainted coal ash; coal ash dust blowing and raining across the county; leaking liners and leachate ponds; contaminated ground and surface water; a future chained to a poisoned past.

Mr. Beasley doesn’t even attempt to win support based on the science of landfill technology.

Instead, he claims that NCCACA is using a propaganda tactic that “makes people feel that they will be powerless over their environment if this project is approved.” Yet clearly citizens are powerless to stop wind and rain and ground and surface water from spreading coal ash.

He claims there is “a governmental system of regulation and enforcement to make sure the power remains in the people’s hands when dealing with CCR (coal ash) disposal.” In fact, NC and EPA regulators have legalized pollution for decades, and environmental protections have been weak, dismantled, or not enforced.

Beasley claims that “knowledge is power,” and “citizens will always possess the knowledge of monitoring results,” but knowledge of a leaking contaminant is not a solution.

Finally, Beasley claims that NCCACA “perpetuates the economic status quo of Northampton County” while VistaGreen will bring jobs and economic prosperity. Of course, NCCACA supports the economic status quo — protecting the environment and natural resources necessary for safe agriculture, tourism, and commerce. VistaGreen supports the economic status quo of its investors, probably Duke Energy.

“What does the NCCACA offer to improve and move Northampton County into the future,” asks Mr. Beasley? NCCACA offers a research-based opposition to VistaGreen built on the unvarnished facts about the risks of coal ash. With an education and activism campaign, it offers hope for the county’s future.

It’s time for VistaGreen to meet Northampton County Citizens Against Coal Ash at a public forum where both sides present their arguments, and citizens can decide if they want to become the state and nation’s coal ash dumping grounds.

Deborah Ferruccio
Warren County