Power-plant trip a good gesture by company

Thursday, September 6, 2001

P But two opponents who visited the Kinder-Morgan Power Co. plant in Colorado came away still convinced they don't want a similar facility in their area of Cape Girardeau County.

Neither of two people who oppose a plan to build a power plant in Cape Girardeau County changed her mind after visiting a similar but smaller plant in Colorado.

Sharon Hanning and Cheryl Kieffer, who live near the site of the proposed plant in southwest Cape Girardeau County, returned from their visit to Kinder Morgan Power Co.'s plant at Fort Lupton, Colo., saying they remain concerned about air pollution, a depletion of underground water supplies, noise and future industrial development in the quiet, rural area near Crump. But Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones said the noise wasn't as loud as he had expected.

Kinder Morgan footed the bill for the trip. Also making the trip were all three Cape Girardeau County commissioners and industrial recruiter Mitch Robinson. The opponents understandably don't want a power plant within sight of their homes, and the company understands that.

Until opponents and company representatives came together during a meeting last month before the county commission to discuss the proposal, there had been little if any discussion between the two. It was after that meeting that the company made the offer to let the local residents see for themselves one of its power plants in operation.

While the company may not have convinced these two opponents that all would be well if a power plant twice as large as the one in Colorado is built near their homes, flying them to Colorado and back was a gesture of goodwill that will go a long way in their effort to build a plant in Cape Girardeau County. It would serve the company well to keep open that line of communications.

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