February 17, 2009
Contact: Harlan Hentges, 1-405-808-7669 or Robert Huston, 1-479-629-1073
Today’s decision by AES to cancel plans to build a second coal-fired generating plant in Panama is proof the handwriting is on the wall for burning coal to produce electricity.
Robert Huston of the Center for Energy Matters, the citizen-based group fighting the proposed expansion, says public outcry for newer, cleaner technologies is forcing companies to take a second look at how they generate electricity.
Combined with today’s Obama Administration action to begin regulating carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, according to Huston, “It’s no wonder AES pulled their application.”
“With today’s EPA ruling, the cost to AES to clean up carbon emissions from their existing Panama plant, much less a new plant twice the size, would make any company’s shareholders think twice about using coal to generate electricity, especially when cleaner technologies exist.” Huston said.
The Center for Energy Matters contends the six coal-fired generating plants in eastern Oklahoma creates smog, contaminates rivers, steams and water supplies with mercury and arsenic and creates a loss of economic viability to the region.
“This also proves that the people of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas don’t just accept things at face value. The people from Leflore and Sequoyah Counties who voiced their concerns about the health and economic ramifications prove they aren’t going believe everything a large, multi-national corporation tells them.” Huston said
“Adding another dirty coal-fired generating plant to our area could potentially force Tulsa, Fort Smith, Fayetteville and Bentonville out of attainment for air quality standards under the Clean Air Act. That could limit the entire region in attracting new industries to the area.” Huston said.
The Environmental Protection Agency, under the new leadership of Administrator Lisa Jackson, granted a petition from the Sierra Club and other groups calling for reconsideration of an unlawful, midnight memo issued by former EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson which sought to prohibit controls on global warming pollution from coal plants.
Today's decision is consistent with a previous ruling by the EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) in the Utah Bonanza case, which found that there was no valid reason for the Bush administration's refusal to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new coal-fired power plants. The so-called Johnson Memo sought to unlawfully overturn that decision.
Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA
479-973-9049 -- firstname.lastname@example.org