Energy Policy and Texas
There is yet another plan to get wind power to the people who need it.
In testimony filed with the Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday, that group's director of transmission oversight backtracked on a previous plan he proposed. T. Brian Almon said the Panhandle Loop plan is still a bad idea, but sending power to the Dallas area via Oklahoma by the X Plan is not such a good idea either.
"I believe that there exist at this time uncertainties related to how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would react to a very large export from Texas and then import into Texas of power," he said.
Predicting that a debate among constituents on property rights versus preserving Gillespie County's scenic beauty would be non-productive, county commissioners are ditching their quest for legislation to let them decide whether wind turbines could be erected here.
The Gillespie County Commissioners have decided not to pursue local wind farm regulation and will not hold a public meeting on the matter, according to County Judge Mark Stroeher. ...State Senator Troy Fraser filed legislation last month to allow the county commissioners to restrict wind farm construction and said his office immediately began receiving complaints from landowners worried that their property rights might be violated.
Four Texas environmental organizations are suing Gov. Rick Perry over his order to fast-track permitting for proposed power plant projects, alleging the actions are illegal and unconstitutional.
TXU Corp. has proposed to build several new coal-powered plants in Texas, and its $10 billion plans in the state include expansion at TXU’s Monticello power station in Mount Pleasant, Texas. The company wants to add a 858-megawatt electric generating unit at the plant which would use coal and lignite.
The lawsuit, filed this past week in Travis County state district court, was initiated by four groups, including East Texas Environmental Concerns.
Specifically, the lawsuit alleges it’s unconstitutional for Perry to manage the way the State Office of Administrative Hearings conducts hearings. SOAH is now considering TXU’s application after a draft air permit was issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in October...............Ted Royer, spokesman for Perry, disputed the illegality of Perry’s fast-track plan.
“It is yet another unfortunate attempt by these groups to turn Texas into California when it comes to generating the power we need. If these groups have their way, a few decades from now Texans will flip a light switch and nothing will happen,” said Royer. “The fact is we are one of the fastest growing states in America and our population will double to 40 million people in the next few decades and that creates a huge demand for energy.”
Royer said Perry’s strategy is to address that “coming crisis” through investing in such things as wind energy and clean energy sources and by encouraging conservation and building new plants.
He said Perry’s order didn’t lower standards or regulations the new Texas power plants would have to meet.