For Immediate Release: August 4, 2011
Contact: Lydia Avila, (626) 506-9651
LCRA Postpones Water Vote
Larger Concerns Surround Controversial White Stallion
(Austin, TX) – Sierra Club, Public Citizen, No Coal Coalition and other environmental organizations applaud the Lower
Colorado River Authority (LCRA) decision late Wednesday afternoon to indefinitely delay a controversial water contract for the proposed White Stallion coal plant.
The vote was indefinitely delayed for the water
contract because an attorney for White Stallion
coal plant requested changes to the proposed
contract, some of which are unprecedented for
an LCRA water contract.
This announcement from LCRA comes on the same day Travis County Court Judge Nora Livingston upheld a decision to remand the White Stallion air pollution permit back the Texas
Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) because the company filed multiple and conflicting plot plans to different governmental agencies.
In July of 2010, Administrative Law Judges who originally heard the case on the air pollution permit recommended denial of the air permit because of the many flaws that did not meet the minimum Clean Air Act safeguards that every coal plant in the country is legally obligated, yet TCEQ granted an illegal air permit anyway.
“LCRA has already received over 2,200 letters and email in opposition to this plant from community members up and down the basin as well as from city, state and county officials. LCRA manages the water for the State of Texas which meant the water belongs to the people and the people don’t
want it to go to a coal plant”, said Tom “Smitty” Smith with Public Citizen Texas. “White
Stallion is trying to take us for a spin, and LCRA should
outright deny the water contract once and for all.”
The proposed White Stallion coal plant has none
of the required permits in hand.
They met multiple snags when applying for the flawed air
pollution permit and the controversial water contract, they
still do not have the required waste water permit from TCEQ,
the 404 permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers, nor the
Greenhouse Gas Permit from the EPA.
“White Stallion doesn’t have the finances lined
up to build a $4 billion coal plant. ,” said Allison Silva, President of the No Coal Coalition. "First, White Stallion pulls a bait and switch with multiple site plans to multiple permitting agencies, and then asks for more time to pay for Texans’ water.
If White Stallion cannot execute on a water contract, how
can we expect them to execute on jobs?"
The proposed White Stallion coal plant faces these obstacles and may not be built:
1. Air permit remanded back to TCEQ, judge upholds remand
2. 404 Permit from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
3. Waste Water Permit from TCEQ
4. Water contract from LCRA – delayed indefinitely
5. Other economic obstacles
“It is highly plausible that we will see the same
tricks and scams when White Stallion applies for the other
needed permits from TCEQ, Army Corps of Engineers and EPA,” said Eva Hernandez with the Sierra Club, “but the writing is on the wall – coal
plants are outdated sources of energy. In Texas we have
a plethora of renewable energy alternatives like solar and
wind that make more sense for the environment, for health,
and for the economy.”