Utilities In Hot Water

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“There are objections on some level to just about every plant we want to build, ” lamented Charles F. Luce, chairman of Consolidated Edison of New York. No company can make that claim with as much feeling as Con Ldison, whose pumped-storage project at Storm King Mountain has been delayed by conservatiomsts since 1962 and whose plans for a nuclear power plant in the Bronx had to be jettisoned—unless it is Pacific Gas and Electric of California, which has been chased by conservationists from two sites in the same period of lime. The United Illuminating Company in Connecticut had little Cockenoe Island, its proposed site for a nuclear power plant, snatched away from it by outraged citizens of exurban Westport; the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation was forced by the Vermont Water Resources Board to put two special cooling towers on its Vernon plant at a cost of 6.5 million dollars; and in Florida local conservationisls are determined that the Florida Power and Light Company must install cooling devices on its Biscayne Bay Turkey Point atomic power plant. Indeed, there, is scarcely a part of the country where a power utility is not in some sort of hot waler with conservatiomsts. That the United Slates faces an immensely serious problem of how and where to produce energy at the least cost to the environment is now abundantly clear, as is the fact that no one yet seems to have any workable solution.