IN “POWER FAILURE” (10/15), David Plotz writes: “Part of the community opposition to the plant can be attributed to standard not-in-my-back-yard (NIMBY) sentiments.” I would not presume to speak for all of my neighbors, but most of us feel that a 56-megawatt, industrial-size power plant should not be located several hundred feet from the nearest back yard in a densely populated, residentially zoned neighborhood. That’s the reason for having zoning laws. If a regulated utility like Pepco attempted to obtain the necessary permits to build a plant of this size in this location, it would be shown politely (or not-so-politely) to the door.
We also don’t have to be “true environmentalists” to realize that Georgetown University’s proposals for conservation of energy are a sham. The coal boilers in the existing power plant have been operating without complying to environmental laws and regulations; the more heavily polluting coal boilers have been used instead of the less-polluting natural-gas boilers because the former are less expensive to operate. And all power produced by this plant will be sold to Pepco as reserve capacity for Pepco’s Mid-Atlantic grid, not as capacity needed to meet any shortages of power in D.C. Pepco’s own announcement to its D.C. customers last spring indicates that because its energy conservation efforts have yielded substantial savings, it will not have to undertake major capital construction of projects in the foreseeable future. Also, the developer, in its original response of Aug. 15, 1987, to the Request for Proposal issued by Georgetown University, says that the proposed 28-megawatt plant “does not meet the intent of the Request for Proposal to “provide the maximum electrical output.’ ” But the 56-megawatt plant does. And requires reactivation of high-voltage power lines running through the Foxhall and Palisades communities in order to transmit the power to Pepco’s Little Falls substation for subsequent transmission to the Mid-Atlantic grid.
If these reasons for opposing the power plant make me a zealot, so be it. I would also like to add that our “seemingly endless resources” consist of time and energy. It’s certainly not money.
Lenore S. Maruyama, Georgetown