UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: Friday, June 1st, 301 AP.
Power station plans are on hold - President
President Okarvits had put a hold on plans by the Conservative government of Lasanne
state to construct two new coal and gas fired power stations, prompting outrage from Industry
groups and the Governor.
Governor Hope, the caretaker President before President Okarvits, has agreed two major
construction projects in Utania with Industry groups and major construction corporations, to
build two new thermal power stations to fuel Lasanne state's ever-growing demand for power. A
second nuclear power station is also under consideration, for a total capital cost of over
Û3.6 billion, and provision for over 15,000 construction jobs.
However, President Okarvits has ordered the construction be postponed, or he will issue
an executive order to cancel them. The President has ultimate authority over the states under
the constitution, and only the Parliament can overrule him. The action has incited a furious
response from industry groups and the Governor.
The President called Governor Hope, and then announced the action to awaiting press
this afternoon. He said that his objection stemmed from the "enormous environmental cost that
will be experienced through the method of generation". President Okarvits then explained that
the two new power stations would produce "approximately 200,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide"
each year, and had a University of Luka professor of Environmental science confirm this.
"We cannot, as a nation committed to this land, continue to inflict damage to it,
damage to the sky, to the ecology or the soil. A nation wide strategy is required to combat
the two issues at stake here, being the need for additional power generation, and the need
to provide this in an environmentally sustainable manner, and I have asked the Governor to
halt his plans until this strategy can be developed, evaluated and implemented." The President
also stated that additional nuclear reactors in Utania was an "extremely tenuous concept".
Though the speech rang bells of celebration amongst green groups nationwide, and had
strong support from Utani politicians in the Parliament, it prompted furious indignation from
the Governor and the corporations involved in the construction and planning.
"President Okarvits has overstepped the boundaries of sanity here, and is stirring the
pot for a fight with industry in this country", declared a Fiennes Construction spokesman,
representing the consortium that assisted the Governor in planning. Governor Hope was less
adversarial with the President, but conceded that "it is a very strange action to take when
his government is facing an election in five weeks, and voters in Lasanne are facing massive
power shortages in the next year."
Many of Lasanne state's generators are running at near there limit, and voltage drops
have been experienced by some rural cities. The next step, warned a Power Industry spokesman,
will be load shedding ("brown outs") and power rationing, events not experienced by the people
of Lasanne state since the 60s.
©UPA, 301 AP.
©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)