Opposition to power plant is widespread

Opposition to power plant is widespread

In “The eco-warrior dilemma,” (3/21/18) Publisher Tom Ward is mistaken to imply that opposition to the Invenergy power plant in Burrillville is a left-wing political phenomenon. This is not the case. Opponents run the entire political gamut, from hard-right to hard-left, as a map of the 32 towns and cities that have voted resolutions against the plant plainly shows.

The opposition began with Trump-voting Burrillville and spread first down the length and breadth of Trump-voting rural Rhode Island. Only later did the urban left in Providence and the centrist voting suburbs along the bay join in. Uniting all are two convictions: that the siting process is undemocratic, and that the proposed location of the plant, on the border of a complex of six state forests and a major Boy Scout and Cub Scout reservation, is utterly ridiculous, and threatening to the huge public investment made in these lands for the conservation of wildlife and the enjoyment of outdoor recreation and education.

Gun owners on the right, for example, are especially insulted because the bill for these six state forests – three in Rhode Island, two in Massachusetts, and one in Connecticut – has been largely paid by them. By provision of the federal Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, all federal taxes paid on “sporting arms” and ammunition are collected in a fund administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the purpose of buying conservation land, according to a generous 75 percent - 25 percent federal-to-state matching formula. So you bet sportsmen and sportswomen think the power plant stinks! And enjoying the benefits they have helped provide, are voters all across the political spectrum.This is a calculus understood by everyone, with the exception, perhaps, of Gina Raimondo, whose promotion of the power plant suggests, yet again, that political dyslexia could one day be recognized as a medical condition.

Bill Eccleston

North Providence