Suspension of last ‘new’ Texas coal plant is a big win for clean air advocates
February 15, 2013
Media contact: Erin Geoffroy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512.691.3407
Expert contact: Jim Marston, email@example.com, 512.691.3402
(Austin, Texas, Feb. 15, 2013) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
today is pleased to announce the indefinite suspension of the White Stallion coal
plant, a 1200 MW power project in Matagorda County, Texas. This cancellation is
tremendous news for clean air advocates, as White Stallion was the last new
proposed coal plant in Texas. EDF has been leading efforts to prevent this coal
plant from coming to fruition with several partners, including Sierra Club,
Public Citizen, SEED Coalition, and Environmental Integrity Project.
“After suffering numerous setbacks … White Stallion has finally
seen the writing on the wall,” said Austin attorney Tom Weber, lead counsel for
the Environmental Defense Fund, who has worked tirelessly to stop the coal
plant in the courts. “This is a big win for clean air in Texas and for the
Environmental Defense Fund.”
The developers of White Stallion faced multiple setbacks over the
past few years in obtaining the necessary permits to operate the plant. In
November 2011, the Lower Colorado River Authority denied a water contract and,
in May 2012, several businesses in Matagorda County publicly opposed the plant due
to the plant’s role in providing a new, major source of mercury pollution.
Additionally, the plant suffered another setback when a court ruled against its
challenges to the Clean Air Act standards.
“The White Stallion plant, like the recently mothballed Las Brisas
project in Corpus Christi, hopefully represents the last dying gasp of ‘new’
coal plants in Texas proposing to employ technologies from the last century,”
said Jim Marston, Vice President of the US Climate and Energy program at EDF
and Regional Director of EDF’s Texas office.
Since the initial White Stallion proposal in 2008, the state has
seen significant changes in the electricity market, to the point where wind
power and natural gas prices have made large, capital-intensive coal plants completely
uneconomic. Throughout 2012, wind power generation provided 10 percent of
electricity for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid. Additionally,
wind power reached a new peak record on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 providing 28
percent of ERCOT’s electricity.
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