Not only has the Salem Power Plant killed three of its workers recently, but the cancer rates in the area are through the roof. I've long had my doubts that it's a coincidence. Furthermore, the plant is old, inefficient and highly polluting - all things that could be improved by shutting the sucker down. Of course, America needs energy and this region of the country is no different, but hopefully this will open up a chance to create more renewable energy - green-lighting projects like Cape Wind and others. Salem, of course, ought to get in the game and find out just where they can build several large wind turbines.
Finally, the mayor worries about losing tax dollars by shutting down the power plant. Here's both a good opportunity for the state to get involved, while also sitting back and taking a breather. The power plant is a huge waterfront property - whatever replaces it will also rake in high amounts of taxes. There's endless possibilities for high end, 1 bedroom condos and a second, even larger, Pickering-Wharf type establishment. Salem has quickly become a top tourist destination all year round, not just during the Halloween season, so why not push to maximize on that potential?
Now - here's where the state should jump in. No municipalities should be held hostage by the whims of large corporations operating up within them. Why not create a law that would cover at least a portion of a city or town's losses in property taxes if a fairly big company either shut down or moved, at least long enough to redevelop the area? Not only will it keep cities and towns fiscally sound, but it could blunt the ability for large businesses to hold communities hostage, essentially buying their own influence by squeezing a municipalities jugular. Anyone else think that a good idea?