Rebuttal: McMullen County mining is safe, delivers valuable service

San Miguel Electric Cooperative
San Miguel Electric Cooperative

In the Aug. 18 op-ed “Opinion: Railroad Commission should stop expansion of dirty coal operation,” there are many inaccuracies about San Miguel Electric Cooperative, which has been providing reliable, affordable power to rural South Texans since 1982.

Two elected officials describing the site as containing “mountains of ash” is untrue and irresponsible. San Miguel mines lignite – the byproduct of which is coal ash, commonly used in roads, highways, buildings and wind turbine bases. Our coal ash placement was authorized by state agencies after we demonstrated no significant adverse environmental and health impact. It is securely and lawfully stored in ways that are documented not to affect water usable by humans or animals.

We have mined and reclaimed land in the Choke Canyon and Corpus Christi watersheds for more than 40 years, with no adverse impacts to public health.

The area’s largest employer, our cooperative is a proud benefactor to thousands through its charitable giving. Equally important, our lignite is vital to powering the energy grid at a time of unprecedented demand. The new mining permit would allow us to continue delivering this valuable service to rural South Texans.

Craig Courter is the general manager and CEO of San Miguel Electric Cooperative.

This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Rebuttal: McMullen County mining is safe, delivers valuable service