Local April 24, 2013 | 8:46 am

Dominican Republic senator slams planned coal-fired plants

Santo Domingo.- A ruling party (PLD) senator on Wednesday railed against the government’s announced deal to build two coal-fired plants in the southern region, calling the plan “absurd,” at a time when the world seeks cleaner sources of energy.

Rafael Calderon (Azua-PLD) affirmed that coal fired plants as far away as China contaminate the air in the U.S., whose plants in turn pollute Canada’s rivers and lakes, prompting lawsuits filed by that nation against Washington.

“Why in my province, take it to yours, take the mercury, pollute your air,” the lawmaker said referring to the planned plants at San Cristobal and Azua provinces.

Interviewed on Hoy Mismo Channel 9, Calderon affirmed that no Caribbean island would build coal-fired plants because the wind and marine currents will carry pollutants to their neighbors. “Why not more wind, solar, natural gas. Why the most pollutant of all fuels?”

He said the priority should be on more hydroelectrics and mini-hydroelectrics of up to 5 megawatts, “which should be installed under concessions, but they wouldn’t be exclusive,” the official said, noting that the contracts would be only for the use of the water flow/

Would oppose coal-fired plant in Azua

When informed that the plants in Azua or Haina (San Cristobal) would be as big as 500 megawatts, Calderon vowed to oppose it. “I wish it were 5,000 megas, so it would explode in their face.”

After reiterating that the plan is “absurd,” Calderon added that the sheer transport aboard bulk freighters implies a major carbon footprint and the pollutant rockash it would produce just west of the capital.

“The idea to build that plant at Haina is absurd, it’s the most polluted site on earth,” a description confirmed by the Blacksmith Institute.

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