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At What Cost To The Suffering Citizens?

Posted Monday, March 27, 2023 a2:00am
Bil Schroeder, Hillsboro

The March 14 county board meeting was a very memorable event.

The overflow crowd of citizens was very rewarding to witness.  Going back quite a few years, March 14 ranks as one of the most attended, orderly, and best prepared groups to bring their concerns before the board members that I can remember going back to 2005.

That was the year that Colt Coal came to town with their promises of good neighbor policies, and that they would leave the land as good or better than it was, even after their longwall method caused the surface to sink seven to eight feet.   Also the promise that after monitoring the first two panels, they would have a drainage plan.  Another broken promise.

Yes, the county has benefited from the royalty money, but those whose lives and land have been impacted have paid for it by the sacrifices forced on them.  Years of good land stewardship have been destroyed by the longwall mining method.

Insanity has been defined at times as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.  In my opinion, allowing the carbon capture pipeline and sequestration sites in Montgomery County certainly qualifies.  If permitted, the county will again be the beneficiary of a financial windfall, but at what cost to the suffering citizens of the county who will bear the burden?

Not only will they be forced to deal with disrupted lives during pipeline construction, but then must live with the threat of pending disaster for at least the next 30 years as high pressure liquid CO2 is pumped through their neighborhoods.

It terms of legacies, does this county board want to be remembered like the board chaired by Mr. Havera who spoke for the board saying, “We don’t care if the company mines the coal with a spoon,” when speaking to the propriety of the longwall method under flat farm land.  Citizen concern was not a very high priority at that time.  Let us hope that attitude no longer exists.

This ill-conceived project appears to be another case of using taxpayers to fund unproven corporate ventures at the expense of those entities at the end of the line.  We are literally the end of the line.

With a continuing declining population, it would seem the wise course would be to keep whole as many productive citizens as possible

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