Fast Track Coal Plants - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/24/06 - Texas

Fast Track Coal Plants

Texas Independent Candidate for Governor Carole Keeton Strayhorn said Monday she will change the state's permitting process in order to fight air pollution and announced her opposition to "dirty" coal-fired power plants that Gov. Rick Perry ordered fast-tracked through the permitting system.

"We first need to look to clean burning natural gas, wind energy, other renewables and energy conservation using the latest technology to meet our electricity needs," Strayhorn said. "I will reverse this governor's executive order, order a review of any final permit issued, appoint a clean air advocate to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and fight for clean energy using the latest technology to reduce pollution."

In this Twenty-First Century, Texans don't want or need more outdated polluting coal plants crammed down our throats by Rick Perry," Strayhorn said.

Last October, Gov. Perry issued an executive order expediting plant permits for TXU Corp. and others. The utility company is racing to build 11 big coal-fired power plants impacting air quality most in Dallas and Waco.

"In a Strayhorn administration, we will not fast-track dirty plants, we will replace them with clean, efficient plants that won't harm Texans," Strayhorn said. "We need to do all we can to protect our children and our expectant mothers from exposure to air pollutants that have been linked to asthma and autism."

According to reports, the 11 new TXU plants would double the company's annual carbon dioxide emissions from 55 million tons to 133 million tons.

"Any new coal plants should be based on gasification and use the latest technology and not polluting our children, elderly and any Texans' lungs," she said.

In gasification, coal is converted into a combustible gas, then that gas is burned to make electricity.

"In this process, carbon dioxide can be captured and used in oil reservoirs to help lift otherwise unreachable oil from the ground," she said.

Rick Perry said: "I'm probably the first governor to stand up and forcefully and strongly proclaim that we must deal with this issue of clean air - that the future of the state of Texas depends upon us proactively addressing this issue." (Dallas Morning News 10/1/2002).

"Fast-tracking dirty coal-fired plants is not addressing this issue," Strayhorn said.

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