Groups pan Alliant coal-plant plan

Posted on June 13, 2008. Filed under: Biomass, Carbon, Coal, Generation Plants, Global Warming | Tags: |

From a news release from the Sierra Club:

Madison – When Alliant Energy announced plans to shut down a small coal plant in a vain attempt to deal with the huge amounts of pollution that may be spewed from its proposed new coal plant in Cassville, Mark Kresowik, the corporate accountability representative for the Sierra Club’s National Coal Campaign, felt a sense of déjà vu.

“This is exactly the same thing they tried to pull in Iowa, distract ratepayers and regulators from the plain fact that their new coal plant is dirty, unnecessary, and will send costs sky high right along with the increased pollution from their plants,” said Kresowik, who moved to Madison from Iowa just a few months ago. “Wisconsin’s economy can’t deal with the investment risks and higher energy costs of new coal plants right now, look at what happened to the assembly plant in Janesville as oil prices have increased. We need lower-cost energy efficiency, clean energy, and green-collar jobs in the 21st century, not expensive and dirty coal.”

Alliant’s claimed global warming pollution reductions pale in comparison to their proposed coal-fired power plant’s estimated 2.9 million tons of global warming pollution each year.

“Investments in wind and energy efficiency are always good,” notes Jennifer Feyerherm, Director of Sierra Club’s Wisconsin Clean Energy Campaign. “Unfortunately, when they are made in conjunction with a proposal for a new coal plant, it smacks of green-washing.”

And a news release from Clean Wisconsin:

Madison, Wis. – Today’s latest proposal in Alliant Energy’s push to construct a coal plant in Cassville, Wisconsin, would still result in one of the state’s dirtiest power facilities, according to the state’s largest environmental advocacy organization.

“Alliant continues to repackage their proposal in an attempt to sell this dirty coal plant as an environmentally friendly option,” said Katie Nekola, Energy Program Director at Clean Wisconsin. “Replacing a nearly retired coal plant that emitted less than 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide in 2006 with one that would emit more than 2.3 million tons of greenhouse gas annually for at least 50 years is not a solution to global warming.”

The company announced changes in a new proposal today, including the retirement of one small coal plant, the addition of more wind to its energy portfolio and the ability to burn up to 20 percent biomass in the plant.

Even at 20 percent biomass, the Cassville plant would emit more greenhouse gas emissions than other, more efficient, power plants fueled exclusively by coal in Wisconsin. The Public Service Commission, however, has questioned many details of Alliant’s previous commitment to burn even 10 percent biomass in the recent environmental impact statement.

The announcement comes one month after the Public Service Commission released a draft environmental impact statement claiming Alliant’s proposal was “not the optimal generation choice,” and “not the least cost option under any scenario.”


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