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Nevada governor challenges senator's stance on coal plants

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Gov. Jim Gibbons isn't joining U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in condemning three proposed coal-fired power plants in rural Nevada that would supply electricity to Las Vegas. Although coal plants long have been criticized for the pollutants they spew into the air, the Republican governor said new technology "minimizes the production of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emission." Reid, D-Nev., said he opposes the coal-fired plants in White Pine and Lincoln counties because they would produce millions of tons of pollution. As an alternative, he wants the state to consider renewable forms of energy and improved energy efficiency.

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Gov. Jim Gibbons isn't joining U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in condemning three proposed coal-fired power plants in rural Nevada that would supply electricity to Las Vegas.

Although coal plants long have been criticized for the pollutants they spew into the air, the Republican governor said new technology "minimizes the production of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emission."

Reid, D-Nev., said he opposes the coal-fired plants in White Pine and Lincoln counties because they would produce millions of tons of pollution. As an alternative, he wants the state to consider renewable forms of energy and improved energy efficiency.

"I'm anxious to see the alternatives proposed by Sen. Reid for the coal plants," Gibbons said. "I've been proposing all along that we look at developing geothermal, solar and wind energy."

Both Sierra Pacific Resources and LS Power of New Jersey want to build coal-fired power plants near Ely, in White Pine County, while Sithe Global Power LLC of New York is planning a plant near Mesquite, in Lincoln County. All three would ship power to Southern Nevada.

Sierra Pacific Resources, which owns... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Gov. Jim Gibbons isn't joining U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in condemning three proposed coal-fired power plants in rural Nevada that would supply electricity to Las Vegas.

Although coal plants long have been criticized for the pollutants they spew into the air, the Republican governor said new technology "minimizes the production of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emission."

Reid, D-Nev., said he opposes the coal-fired plants in White Pine and Lincoln counties because they would produce millions of tons of pollution. As an alternative, he wants the state to consider renewable forms of energy and improved energy efficiency.

"I'm anxious to see the alternatives proposed by Sen. Reid for the coal plants," Gibbons said. "I've been proposing all along that we look at developing geothermal, solar and wind energy."

Both Sierra Pacific Resources and LS Power of New Jersey want to build coal-fired power plants near Ely, in White Pine County, while Sithe Global Power LLC of New York is planning a plant near Mesquite, in Lincoln County. All three would ship power to Southern Nevada.

Sierra Pacific Resources, which owns Nevada Power Co. in Las Vegas and Sierra Pacific Power Co. in Reno, asked the state Public Utilities Commission for permission to move forward on developing a plant near Ely.

In January, the PUC approved Sierra Pacific spending $300 million for development, but said the utility could spend only slightly more than half that amount until it receives an air quality permit from the state.

The commission found that Sierra Pacific was "actively engaged" in assessing new pollution control technology. The coal plant, the agency added, for now is the "best option to provide an adequate supply of electricity at a predictable price with acceptable environmental impacts."

Reid has suggested the money, rather than being spent on new coal plants, could be used to install solar energy units on hundreds of thousands of homes in Nevada.

His opposition to the coal plants drew praise from environmental groups while representatives of the companies planning the projects defended them as necessary given the explosive growth in the Southwest, especially in Las Vegas, and scheduled shutdowns of older plants.

A decision on LS Power's application, filed in December 2005, could be made by the end of this year. Decisions on Sierra Pacific and Sithe Global, whose applications were received in February, won't come until 2008.

 



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AUG 1 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/10387-nevada-governor-challenges-senator-s-stance-on-coal-plants
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