Monday, December 22, 2008
Song of the Times
The editorial board at the Northwest Arkansas Times is a broad-minded group, so broad that they can change premises to reach conclusions and not miss a beat. Such intellectual dexterity is a thing to behold. Just last month, the Times endorsed Mayor Dan Coody for re-election, suggesting that his emphasis on sustainability locally was "helping make a name for this community here in Arkansas and beyond its borders."
Now, when Coody's swan song was to bring forward a resolution opposing the construction of new coal plants in Arkansas, the Times editorial takes a switch to the City Council that passed it 7-1. "The Fayetteville City Council is elected to represent the people of Fayetteville and to make decisions on their behalf. They are not chosen to issue position statements on national and state issues. ...After all, does anyone really believe the City Council has the capacity to speak for all Fayetteville citizens on broad national political issues? Does anyone really want them to?"
So, got that? When they want to praise Coody, taking a national stance for sustainability is a good thing. When they want to berate the City Council, taking a national stance for sustainability is a bad thing. Simple formula. Besides, we are told, it is a waste of time.
Or, maybe when anyone criticizes the environmental actions of AEP/SWEPCO and rejects the demands of former Cowbird Chairman and AEP/SWEOCO spokesman Tommy Deweese, the Times editors just see things differently. We wouldn't suggest that shared FEDC and Cowbird memberships influence the integrity of editorial positions any more than do SWEPCO advertising revenues. It is just that logical consistency is the elusive hobgoblin of foolish Times editors and other small minds.
For the record, we commend Mayor Coody and the City Council for doing the right thing and passing the resolution in opposition to the smoke-belching dirty coal plant being built in Arkansas, charged to Arkansas ratepayers, and polluting our air to provide electricity to customers in Texas.
UPDATE: SWEPCO will soon be filing for a base rate increase to recover the costs of that coal-fired plant in Hempstead County and those attractive metal poles that run across Dickson Street and through our neighborhood near Old Main. Will the Times editors tell the City Council to keep quite about that, too?
UPDATE TWO: It is not only air pollution to be considered, as this massive coal ash disaster in Tennessee, 48 times greater than the Exxon Valdez spill, makes abundantly clear to anyone except SWEPCO executives and Times editors.