If the Democratic-controlled Washington state legislature gets its way, they and the “greenies” could ensure the Centralia coal/gas-fired plant in Centralia, Washington will be decommissioned in 2020.
This plant south of Tacoma in Lewisburg County is owned by Canada’s TransAlta Corporation and provides enough electricity to power the entire city of Seattle. Even though 3/4 of the state receives its electricity from hydroelectic, the Centralia plant provides 14% of the electricity for the entire state, employs 600 people and provides heat and light for 1.23 million homes. The plant was built in the early 1970’s and has since invested $300 million in pollution control, i.e. adding scrubbers and other technologies to make it one of the cleanest-burning coal-fired plants in North America.
But that isn’t good enough for the “environmentalists” in Washington state. Under their pressure the plant is now in the political crosshairs and the Democrat majority introduced SB 5769 and are back and forth with negotiations of when the plant should close. As late as last week the requirement in the bill was for the plant to transition from coal to either wood chips or natural gas completely by 2020, however an executive from TransAlta testified that date is an impossibility.
In a 2009 executive order, the governor and TransAlta had agreed on a date of 2025 for the plant to end its use of coal. After rallies in Olympia by those who would be affected by the closure, as/of February 27 apparently no firm date has been set and negotiations are still in the works, although a trusted Washington source has told me “this is all smoke and mirrors by the environmentalists” and he believes the bill is in imminent danger of being passed with the 2020 deadline.
Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center debunks the myths, pollution amount and health-risk hysteria the “environmentalists” are creating, one of his more salient comments being:
A look at the data of air pollution and cancer rates shows no evidence that the Centralia coal plant has any impact on air quality or cancer rates. How much air quality improvement do we get for incurring the costs and losing the jobs by shutting down the plant? The likely answer is “nothing.”
The Washington House Republicans state the proposal to close the plant prematurely is not set in sound economic or environmental fact and would be disastrous:
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) says without the consistent baseload energy provided by the TransAlta plant, the energy grid will become unstable. Those who have proposed to kill the Centralia plant have offered no solutions to keep the lights on in Washington.
Ironically, the Washington Dems who want the plant shut down state on their webpage, Majority Whip Scott White of Seattle in particular, the “need to work together and create jobs.”
I spoke on the phone with exasperated Lewis County GOP Chairwoman Colleen Morse who stated to me:
I honestly don’t know where these people think they are going to get their electricity. There is no other power plant that can provide them. The Democrats are in control and I am sure they will seal our fate and pass this bill with the 2020 deadline.
I guess they’ll figure it out when the lights go out. And I’m sure we all remember Obama’s promise:
Under my plan for green energy, electricity prices would naturally skyrocket.
We all need to keep the pressure up on DC, Congress and remind everyone the US has a wealth of fossils fuels right under our feet, literally, ripe for the picking. Used in the correct manner with the most modern technologies, pollution can be kept at a minimum and also importantly a wealth of jobs with be created. With jobs comes consumer spending, capitalism, and the growth or our economy.