Posted in Coal, Global Warming, tagged coal plant, contested case hearing, EPA, fast track, grandfathered coal plants, hb 4012, house committee on environmental regulation, permit application, power plant on April 6, 2009 |
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On Wednesday, April 8th, the House Committee on Environmental Regulation will hear testimony on a bill to fast-track coal and other power plants. Issues with the HB 4012 include:
- It would eliminate the contested-case hearing process – the only significant opportunity the public has to challenge a power plant permit
- It would fast-track the permit application review process, resulting in lower-quality permits
- It could be deemed illegal by the EPA which mandates that the public have an opportunity to challenge a permit application
- It would erode public trust of regulatory institutions at a time when that trust is vanishing nationwide
Come testify in Capitol Extension E1.014 on Wednesday at 10:30am. Without the contested-case process, there could have been no public victory against 8 of the 11 proposed TXU coal plants.
Even when a power plant is permitted, it is almost always a better permit for having endured the contested-case hearing process. The process brings out weaknesses in the application and often helps identify opportunities to lower dangerous emissions from these plants.
Two years ago the state showed its disregard for public interest when Governor Perry attempted to grandfather coal plants and protect them from regulation. That attempt was defeated in court, but now the legislature is resurrecting tired arguments in favor of polluting technologies that hurt our health and our economy.
If you can’t make it in person, call in to the Environmental Regulation committee and voice your opposition to HB 4012!
Rep. Byron Cook (Chair) – 512-463-0646, Byron.Cook@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Warren Chisum (Vice-Chair) – 512-463-0736, Warren.Chisum@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Lon Burnam – 512-463-0740, Lon.Burnam@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Jim Dunnam – 512-463-0508, Jim.Dunnam@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Jessica Farrar – 512-463-0620, Jessica.Farrar@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Kelly Hancock – 512-463-0599, Kelly.Hancock@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Ken Legler – 512-463-0460, Ken.Legler@house.state.tx.us
Rep Marc Veasey – 512-463-0716, Marc.Veasey@house.state.tx.us
Rep. Randy Weber – 512-463-0707, Randy.Weber@house.state.tx.us (Rep. Weber authored the bill in question)
Removing contested case hearings, the public’s only opportunity to challenge power plants, without replacing it with some other mechanism to hear public input is completely ridiculous. Baby does not approve.
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Posted in Coal, Global Warming, tagged clean air act, coal plant, Congress, corpus christi, grandfathered power plants, Obama administration, stop the dirty dozen, sweetwater, Texas Legislature, Victoria, Waco on April 6, 2009 |
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If you live in the Waco, Sweetwater, Corpus Christi, or Victoria area, you may have seen this op-ed run in your local newspaper under a variety of titles such as “Stop the Dirty Dozen”, “New generation of grandfathered polluters?”, and “Don’t create another generation of grandfathered power plants.” If not, you should give it a read.
In the early 1970s, when it looked like the passage of the federal Clean Air Act was inevitable, power companies in Texas went on a building boom to construct 12 dirty, old-technology power plants before legislation went into effect. It was more than 30 years before the Texas Legislature addressed pollution from these “grandfathered” plants. Today, just as Congress and the Obama administration are poised to pass a series of tougher air pollution laws and cap global warming gasses, a dozen applications for additional coal fired power plants in Texas have been permitted or are pending. If built, this dirty dozen of coal plants would add an astounding 77 million tons a year of global warming gases to our already overheated air, 55,000 tons of acid rain forming gases, 29,000 tons of ozone forming chemicals and 3,800 lbs of brain damaging mercury. Your call to your state senator this week can help stop another generation of coal plants from being built.
Two years ago, 19 new coal plants were proposed for the state of Texas. Everybody breathed a sigh of relief when TXU withdrew applications for eight of those plants. But other companies are still building their proposed plants, and the cumulative impacts will make it harder to breathe in the DFW, Houston, Tyler- Longview, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, Victoria and Corpus Christi areas. Seven of the plants have already been permitted, but five more are still in the permitting stages and can be more easily stopped.
Sen. Kip Averitt took a strong stand on this issue by adding a provision in his aggressive air qualtity bill, SB 16, to require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to look at the cumulative impacts of any proposed new plant along with any others that have already been permitted or are being proposed. This amendment would have gone a long way to protect our air and climate.
Unfortunately the electric companies out-lobbied him and took a red pen to that provision of the bill. What’s left is too little and too late. (more…)
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Posted in Coal, Uncategorized, tagged fighting goliath: texas coal wars, flow: for love of water, houston community college, Public Citizen, robert redford, ryan rittenhosue, ryan rittenhouse, sam houston parkway, the reel series, town and country center on April 6, 2009 |
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Live in the Houston area? This Wednesday, April 8, at 11:00 am, Houston Community College will be showing both FIGHTING GOLIATH: TEXAS COAL WARS and FLOW: FOR LOVE OF WATER as a part “The Reel” Series, a culture film/speaker series of learning enrichments. Public Citizen’s own Ryan Rittenhouse will be on hand after the screening for a Q&A session and to give an update on the Texas coal fight.
The screening will be held at the Town & Country Center in the “Eagle” room at 1010 W. Sam Houston Parkway N. 77043. The event will be free and open to all HCC students, faculty, staff, and friends.
APRIL 8 Films & Speaker: “The Public Commons: Access to Water/Clean Air”
- 11:00 a.m. FILM: (84 min) FLOW: FOR LOVE OF WATER The World Water Crisis is what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century. “Flow” takes us to Bolivia, South Africa, India, Michigan and beyond, and introduces us to issues of water wars, privatization, pollution and profit and the people who are being harmed by corporate tyrannies that are claiming the water of their land. Award-winning, 2008.
- 1:00 p.m. FILM & SPEAKER: (30 min) FIGHTING GOLIATH: TEXAS COAL WARS Narrated by Robert Redford, the (2007) film follows the story of Texans fighting high-stakes battle for clean air. Film centers around unlikely partners — mayors, ranchers, lawyers, cities, citizens, green groups, and CEO’s — who came together to oppose the construction of 18 coal-fired power plants in Texas.
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Posted in Toxics, Uncategorized, tagged alliance for a clean texas, clean air, earth day 5k, environmental education, farmers market, galveston-houston association for smog prevention, ghasp, growth, hb 3265, hb 3428, hill country, hill country alliance, house county affairs, houston, houston earth day, mothers for clean air, water on April 6, 2009 |
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Happy Monday everybody! Check out the latest from our friends at Alliance for a Clean Texas. Original post can be found here.
This week, ACT is happy to bring reports from two organizations doing great work on behalf of their local communities. In Houston, the Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention (GHASP) is presenting Houston Earth Day – the City of Houston’s official Earth Day celebration – this Saturday, April 11th. This FREE day-long festival focuses on green-living and features hands-on activities for everyone. There will be an Earth Zone (highlighting air, land, water and renewable energy), an Environmental Education Zone, Kids Energy Zone, and Farmers’ Market. Additional information about Houston Earth Day and Mothers for Clean Air’s Earth Day 5k is available here.
The Hill Country Alliance reports that they support HB 3265 which will be heard in House County Affairs on Monday April 6. This bill represents the culmination of 18 months of collaboration between 15 rural Hill Country counties; it provides this sensitive area with a set of tools to handle growth – particularly the stress placed on water resources.
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