ACORN Support Grows


An Arkansas environmentalist group succeeded this week in persuading the Corporation Sub-committee on Shareholder Responsibility to discuss or request that Harvard consider using its influence to forestall the construction of a power plan in Arkansas.

The Corporation subcommittee will discuss the request--submitted earlier this month by the Arkansas Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN)--at its Monday meeting.

ACORN is trying to stop Arkansas Power and Light, a subsidiary of Middle South Utilities, from building a 2800-megawatt, coal burning plant that it says would emit large amounts of sulfur dioxide, causing damage to nearby crops.

Harvard is the largest single stockholder in Middle South, with about $10 million worth of stock, and its opinion would presumably have considerable weight with AP&L.

The student-faculty-alumni Advisor Committee on Shareholder Responsibility will also discuss ACORN's request at its meeting Tuesday.


A local ecology group, Harvard-Radcliffe Ecology Action, joined ACORN's fight early last week, circulating petitions requesting that Harvard intervene on ACORN's behalf. The Harvard-Radcliffe Association of African and Afro-American students also voiced support for ACORN, issuing a statement asking Harvard to take action.

And Arkansas governor Dale Bumpers, in a speech a Lowell House Junior Common Room, predicted that the controversial power plant will not be built until "every technology available has been used" for pollution control.

It's hard to judge whether the Corporation Subcommittee is sincerely interested in stopping the plant, or if it only feels threatened by the widespread support ACORN is getting. But it is clear that the Sub-committee is taking the whole matter seriously.

The Arkansas Department of Planning has said that a planned Arkansas Power and Light power plant could "possibly be the worst single source of air pollution in the world."

"By the time this plant is built, that statement will no longer be true," an AP&L spokesman said last week.

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