Posted on April 1, 2012
Kathy Karch is a member of the Educational Committee of the Salem Alliance for the Environment
I suppose that I can’t be surprised that HealthLink immediately came under fire for expressing their significant concerns on their listserv regarding the current proposal to build a large natural gas and diesel burning power plant on the site of the current Salem Harbor Station. Some people don’t care what an environmental group is saying, or who the environmental group is trying to protect. If it’s an environmental group that’s expressing concern, some folks criticize seemingly on principle.
On March 27, Nelson Benton went on the attack against HealthLink in an editorial for the Salem News. Let’s sum up his gripes, shall we? HealthLink is flip flopping–10 years ago the group stated that a natural gas facility at the Salem Harbor Station site would be better and now they’re not supporting Footprint’s plan to build one. Sarcastically, he suggests that maybe they’d prefer a nuclear power plant instead (quite a leap from not endorsing a natural gas proposal to endorsing nuclear power). Oh, and let’s not forget his ire in the fact that HealthLink hasn’t given “one red cent” to the redevelopment of the Salem Harbor Station site (a privately owned property, I might add). Then, just to confuse the issue and continue the gripe-fest, Mr. Benton drags in the sewage treatment plant. How that is relevant to HealthLink or the title of his editorial “Healthlink pans Footprint plan” he doesn’t make clear.