Our senators need to take a stand against GPA’s power plant

Guam Power Authority (PNC file photo)

By Camarin D. Egurrola

A 1993 law that prohibits fossil fuel burning generators from being built within 1,500 feet of a school was created by previous leaders who wanted to protect children from exposure to the harmful chemicals that come from power plants.

It is a desperate decision on GPA’s behalf to try and convince the community and our senators to amend this bill and allow a power plant to be built. Our senators are public servants and it is their duty to protect the health, welfare and environment of our community.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website, burning fossil fuels at power plants creates emissions that can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and exposure to mercury can increase the possibility of health issues ranging from cancer to immune system damage." How can we, as a community, allow this to happen?

If the senators approve this bill, it would be a grave injustice to our community.

Our entire community witnessed the destruction that took place at Marbo Caves earlier this year at the hands of KEPCO. Since 2019, I have attended countless public hearings speaking out against KEPCO and tried to shed light on the company’s history of scandals and corruption.

In 2013, a major investigation uncovered widespread corruption and bribery in KEPCO’s nuclear power supply chain and more than 100 people were arrested and charged. In 2015, KEPCO was caught receiving kickbacks from U.S. companies. In 2016, KEPCO was charged with furnishing false and misleading information to the New South Wales Division of Resources and Energy in Australia. In 2019, a Climate Impact Pledge report said that KEPCO “is the lowest-scoring company in its [electric utilities] sector, particularly on measures of strategy and board composition.”

KEPCO has a long history of being untrustworthy and irresponsible. How can we trust them to build a power plant next to a school?

We need to think about the future of our energy and what is best for the island as a whole.
Renewable energy technology is progressing at a remarkable rate and Guam will be left in the dust if we do not rise to the occasion and challenge GPA, the CCU and the PUC’s decision.

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