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Blog posts January 2009

Energy Update, January 23, 2009

In the States
KS – The controversy over a $3.5 billion coal-fired power plant proposed by Sunflower Electric power is expected to continue into this legislative year.  Last year, the Governor vetoed bills that would have reversed a state agency’s decision to deny the plant’s construction permits due to the environmental hazards it would create.  The legislature is expected to pass more bills that would allow the plant to be built while Sunflower is expected to file lawsuits and seek a reversal in federal courts.  Energy policy will be hot topicTopeka Capital-Journal
NV – A controversial proposal for a power plant has the support of Governor Jim Gibbons.  The Bureau of Land Management has approved of the plan; the only regulation holding up construction is a study on carbon dioxide emissions required by the US EPA.  Several groups including the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity have asked the Interior Department’s Board of Land Appeals to reject the BLM’s approval in an attempt to keep the plant from being built.  Tug-of-war intensifies over proposed coal-fired plantsLas Vegas Review-Journal
OR – Environmental groups and utility companies are both expected to seek Governor Ted Kulongoski’s support this year.  Although the Governor favored reducing greenhouse gasses and promoting alternative energy, the faltering economy could shift concerns to cost effectiveness and lessen the impact of such plans.  Regarding energy policy, the Governor’s chief of staff for energy said that “the governor is not going to approve a proposal that's going to damage the Oregon economy.”  Can Oregon’s climate change plan survive a down economy?The Oregonian
TX – A new wind farm just south of Corpus Christi has begun to generate power.  Within a month, as many as 80,000 homes could be powered by the electricity generated on the 400-foot-tall turbines.  In response to concerns about protection of birds when migrating, a new system will stop the turbine blades when the arrival of migratory birds is detected by radar.  Energy farm along coast starting to harvest windSan Antonio Express News
UT – Governor Jon Huntsman’s plan to save the state $3 million by switching most of the executive branch to a four-day work-week is not expected to pan out.  Several factors, including the state’s inability to close as many of its buildings as originally hoped, have decreased the efficacy of the plan.  The $3 million figure is now described as a target to be reached in the future.  Utah’s 4-day work week falls short of savings goal - MSNBC
VA – A coalition of environmental groups is suing the state because the group was not allowed to offer an alternative to a new power plant to the State Corporation Commission.  The group, Wise Energy for Virginia, opposes a new power plant under consideration and proposes spending the same amount of money that would be spent building the plant on energy efficiency.  A study commissioned by the group claims that a new plant would not need to be constructed, jobs would be created, less pollution would be emitted, and the utility company would ultimately save money.  Environmental group promotes energy efficiencyChatham Star-Tribune
WV – Steady demand for coal and other factors have lowered prices, causing a slump in the state’s coal industry.  Though the industry is not as bad off as the financial or retail markets, hundreds of coal workers in the state have been laid off.  Layoffs signal trouble for state coal industryCharleston Daily Mail

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