Fwd: Huge Victory: Coal Plant Battles Won, Coal War continues
From: Karen Hadden <karen@...>
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2007 23:12:01 -0600
Hi - We've had a huge victory! Thanks to all of you who did so much! This victory has been won because so many people worked together in so many ways and didn't give up! TXU is pulling back on 8 proposed coal plants - Karen Hadden
Press Statement: Battles Won, Coal Plant War Continues
Karen Hadden, 512-797-8481
Executive Director Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition,
SEED Coalition is a party in the contested case against seven consolidated coal plant permits that TXU has been attempting to permit, projects that now will be taken off the table by TXU. It is likely that other companies with pending coal plant permits may move forward now, and we expect to continue fighting coal plants in Texas.
This week Judge Yelenosky in Austin found that Governor Perry lacked the authority to fast-track coal burning power plants, and as a result, the hearings for the seven consolidated coal plant permits were extended by four months time.
As result of KKR and Texas Pacific Groups leveraged buyout of TXU Corp. the eight total Powder River Basin coal plants TXU has been pursuing will be dropped. New ownership provides an opportunity for dialogue, and we hope to see an increased willingness to address the serious health and environmental concerns related to coal-burning power plants.
We are very pleased that company has agreed to back off on the eight coal plants they proposed that would burn Powder River Basin coal. This is a major victory for the citizens of Texas, and now its time for TXU to get serious about reducing pollution at existing coal plants, and at Sandow and Oak Grove, plants that they still choose to pursue.
Three of TXUs existing plants rank among the ten worst in the nation for mercury pollution, and mercury controls should be installed on each of these coal plant units.
It time for TXU to support significant increases in energy efficiency, to pursue renewable energy, and to steer away from both coal and nuclear power, which remains dangerous and deadly.
The organizing, educating and media work that citizens have done throughout the state has been raising awareness and creating pressure. Citizens were in contested cases against the plants at all of the proposed locations. Its very clear that citizens in Texas want clean air to breathe, and clean air for their children and grandchildren.
The Oak Grove plant is further along in the permitting process than the plants that will be scrapped. Robertson County Our Land Our Lives is a party in the contested case. The hearing is over and Administrative Law Judges at the State Office of Administrative Hearings recommended denial of the permit for Oak Grove, a huge 1720 MW lignite plant proposed for Robertson County, The judges believed that the pollution controls would not be adequate to reach the emission levels in the permit and cited several other permit flaws as well. Oak Grove alone could spew out as much pollution as 350,000 cars, and its 1440 pounds of toxic mercury emissions would risk contamination of Texas waterways and fish. Mercury causes permanent brain damage in children, and at a time when the nation as a whole is striving to get down to 15 tons of mercury a year, adding 1440 pounds makes no sense. Oak Groves nitrogen oxide emissions could be enough to cause Austin to go into non-attainment for health based air quality standards.
Texas environmental agency, TCEQ, could make a decision on whether to approve the Oak Grove permit as early as mid-March. We are open to talking to KKR and Texas Pacific Group about this plant and their upcoming plans for the company.
Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition
1801 Westlake Dr. #209
Austin, Texas 78746
www.seedcoalition.org and www.StoptheCoalPlant.org
Nan Hildreth, Houston 713-842-6643
"On playing fields and battlegrounds, challenges that would be daunting and impossible if faced alone are suddenly possible when tackled in a close-knit group. The people haven't changed, but the way in which the task appears to them has." Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point