AUSTIN—Environment Texas today applauded the cancellation of plans by TXU to build eight coal-fired power plants. Environment Texas also expressed concern that three new coal-fired plants remained on the drawing board in Texas, and as many as 140 other plants across the country.
“That’s eight down, 11 more to go,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “TXU's announcement is great news, but there are still 11 other coal plants in the works in Texas, including the 3 dirtiest plants proposed by TXU. Texas families have been getting sick from air pollution for too long, and we can’t afford to build even one of these plants. The fight has just begun.”
Today, the nation’s top climate scientist, James Hansen of NASA, called for a moratorium on coal plants until it is proven that they can capture and sequester carbon. Sen. Rodney Ellis has filed SB 860 to require a two-year moratorium on new coal plants, to allow for time for the state “to adopt an integrated energy plan for this state that provides for this state's electricity generation needs, protects the health and safety of the residents of this state, and protects the products produced in this state”.
A recent report from Environment Texas showed that improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy could reduce emissions by almost 20% by 2020.
Metzger said, “The good news is some Texas lawmakers have proposed common sense solutions to our energy problems that will save consumers money, enhance electricity reliability, and help reduce the air pollution that causes tens of thousands of Texas children to have asthma attacks each summer”.
Environment Texas pointed to legislation such as SB 12 (Averitt), which would offset the projected growth in electricity demand by 20% by establishing efficiency standards for ten appliances, as the kinds of steps Texas can take to avoid the need for any new coal plants.
“Energy efficiency is half the cost of coal plants, can be implemented in a fraction of time and has none of the pollution,” concluded Metzger.