TXU wants to build 11 new coal-fired power plants in north Texas. In an effort to get the plants on-line quickly, Governor Perry has fast-tracked the building of the plants. It looked for a while like the plants would be quickly built in spite of protests from enviornmentalists. Now that is in doubt. Judge Carol Wood and Judge Thomas Walston, from the State Office of Administrative Hearings, have rejected the proposal to build the proposed Oak Grove plant, located in Robertson County.
The Oak Grove plant was the first of the 11 proposed plants to reach the administrative hearing of the state's permit process. TXU claimed they were using clean technology, and pollution levels would be cut by 20% after these plants were built. The judges did not buy the argument. They found that the new plant would emit 60% more nitrogen oxides that the last two plants approved. They said the type of coal to be used [lignite] produces a lot of ash and would clog the proposed pollution controls. They also said the proposed lignite has three times as much mercury as other types of coal.
The request to build the new plant now moves to the Texas Commission on Enviornmental Quality. TXU has until September 12th to file their arguments against the proposed rejection of the plant.
Thank goodness someone has stepped forward to call TXU on its latest lies. TXU has turned down the cleanest technology available, and wants to use the dirtiest coal available. Then they expected us to believe the plants would not be polluting our air. New plants are needed, but not plants that will pollute our air and cause health problems for north Texas residents. Hopefully, TCEQ will uphold the rejection and require TXU to clean up their proposed plants.