Power, Dirty Air’ a study
by the Clean Air Task Force links asthma and
other respiratory illnesses and heart disease to
coal plant pollution.
Corpus Christi citizens protest the Las Brisas coal plant permit February 16, 2009.
Photos by Arnold Gonzalez
For Immediate Release: Friday, February 20, 2009
Ken Kramer, 512-626-4204, Ilan Levin, 512-619-7287, or Donna Hoffman,
Office of Administrative Hearings Rules:
Greenhouse Gases from Coal-Fired Power Plant is Irrelevant
(Austin) – The Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) today refused to allow testimony regarding climate change and emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in a case involving the air pollution permit for a proposed new coal-fired power plant at the NRG Limestone facility near Groesbeck, east of Waco. The ruling came in a preliminary hearing in advance of the contested case – a formal administrative trial – that formally opens in Austin on Monday.
Ken Kramer, Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, a party to the case, said, “By
failing to address carbon dioxide as an issue in this case,
the State Office of Administrative Hearings has refused to
join the growing ranks of states, the U.S. Supreme Court,
the new presidential administration, and forward-looking
Texas state legislators in accepting the challenge to address
greenhouse gas emissions.”
NRG Texas Power LLC, a subsidiary of New Jersey-based NRG,
has publicly acknowledged that climate change is a serious
environmental issue, and has even agreed to offset a portion
of its greenhouse gas emissions from the proposed new plant. Yet,
lawyers for the company maneuvered to strike all references
to CO2 or climate change from the trial, which begins on
“The State Office of Administrative Hearings will have other opportunities this year in other fossil fuel-fired power plant decisions – Las Brisas in Corpus Christi, Coleto Creek in Goliad, and Tenaska in Sweetwater, to do the right thing and address global warming and Carbon Dioxide,” said
Layla Mansuri, Attorney with the Environmental Integrity
Project representing Sierra Club said, “Coal-fired power plants are already responsible for a disproportionate share of our nation’s global warming pollution, and Texas ranks number one in terms of CO2 pollution from power plants. Our state must move forward for our economy’s
sake and for climate recovery.”
The Commissioners of the TCEQ will have the ultimate decision in the current round of coal and pet coke plant permit cases in Texas and will have to respond to federal law that is expected to be written this spring addressing global warming.