The Texas Coal Rush Proposed, pending and recently permitted coal-fired power plants Source: Public Citizen PLANT, COMPANY, LOCATION 1.Oak Grove, TXU, Bremond 2.J.K. Spruce II, City Public Services, San Antonio 3.Sandy Creek, LS Power, Riesel 4.Formosa Plastics, Formosa Plastics, Point Comfort 5.Sandow 5, TXU, Rockdale 6.NuCoastal, NuCoastal Power, Point Comfort NuCoastal has agreed to offset 100 percent of their CO2 emissions. 7.White Stallion, White Stallion Energy Center LLC, Bay City 8.Tenaska Trailblazer, Tenaska Energy, Sweetwater Tenaska has proposed to capture 60 percent of their CO2 emissions. 9.Limestone 3, NRG Energy, Jewett 10.Las Brisas, Las Brisas Energy Center LLC, Corpus Christi 11.Coleto Creek, South Texas Electric Cooperative, Goliad 12.Summit, Summit Power, Penwell * Summit Power has not yet submitted an application, so there are no published estimates of CO2 emissions from this plant. 1,720 16.6 750 7.4 800 7.5 300 3.0 581 5.4 300 2.6 1,200 900 0.75 745 7.4 1,200 10.4 650 6.0 400 all 12 proposed plants are built, they would add upwards of 8o million tons of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere every year. That would be more than the entire country’s increased emissions in 2007. Coal backers point out that the 12 plants’ CO2 output would cause just a 1-percent increase in U.S. carbon emissions. \(In Texas, carbon emissions would go up by 12 not sound like much but in a race to drastically cut emissions in time to avoid runaway climate change, it’s a lot. Eighty million tons is enough to easily wipe out the efforts of other states. For example, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-andtrade system devised by twelve Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, aims to cut their carbon emissions from the power sector by 20 million tons by 2019. If Texas were a country, it would already rank No. 7 in worldwide CO2 emissions. Texas leads the nation in coal consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions. The state’s 17 existing coal-fired plants account for more than one-third of the state’s carbon emissions. “The tragedy is, we were beginning to make a dent in our CO2 emission in Texas,” says Tom “Smitty” Smith, a veteran environmentalist and consumer advocate with the nonprofit Public Citizen. Between 2005 and 2006, the state saw a 3-percent drop in carbon emissions, according to federal data, thanks to growth in wind power and energy-efficiency measures. Now Texas’ carbon-reduction efforts could be thrown into reverse. Unlike the “coal wars” heyday of 2007, there is not so much an uproar as a low rumbling. Though environmental groups are trying to jumpstart things, those fighting Big Coal this time are mostly doing it plant-by-plant, in often lonely battles in small towns across the state. NOVEMBER 13, 2009 TEXASOBSERVER.ORG 11
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