We live about a mile downwind from an old coal and gas fired power plant (it was fully coal until recent years) and I've lived in this neighborhood almost all my life, except for a few years after high school. My parents live right up the road, and have most of their adult lives...heck, almost everyone for several miles around are very long term, if not lifelong residents of the neighborhood (mostly family owned farms)and nobody has any air quality or "ambiance" complaints...other than maybe the occasional "fresh country air".
There is not rampant cancer, or asthma, or an abundance of any other terminal illnesses...pretty much just like any other area really...well, maybe less honestly, many of the neighbors have lived well into their 80s, some 90's...the lady next place up is soon 100, still lives by herself and tends her own gardens...her husband lived to 93 and was still sharp as a tack.
A very large and well known new car dealership recently built a brand new facility ($$$) right next to the power plant (literally...only a small creek separating them) Goodwill just built a brand new store, right next to the car dealer, the guy on the other side of the car dealer just did a full down to the studs remodel of his house. The houses on the street behind the power plant continue to go up in price, and sell well. My neighbor 2 doors up lived in one of the houses behind the power plant for years...he didn't sell for any reason other than the chance for a property with enough land to have a big garden and a flock of chickens (without dealing with city ordinances) when they bought the place they live in now, their old house didn't even get to market officially before it was sold.
I'm sure not all power plant neighbors have a good experience, but I can say first hand that its not nearly as bad as the media/greenies like to portray.