Dead and dying Pecan Trees near the Fayette Coal Burning Power Plant (Texas Pecan Alliance photo)
For Release: Friday, October 7, 2011
Contact: Cyrus Reed, 512-740-4086 or Donna Hoffman, 512-299-5776
Moving Austin Beyond Coal
(Austin) Cyrus Reed, PhD, Conservation
Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club,
today praised Austin City Council for setting deadlines
on two studies required under the Austin Generation
Resources 2020 Plan approved in February of 2011.
"Sierra Club supports Austin Energy's move to 35% renewable energy and 800 megawatts of energy efficiency by 2020. We also fundamentally believe City of Austin can end our use of coal and phase out our reliance on the dirty Fayette coal plant. We appreciate that City Council has voted to move forward with two studies that will help answer how we will make this transition off of coal cost-effectively."
One resolution, offered by Councilmember Bill Spelman and Mayor Pro-Tem Sheryl Cole requires the Austin City Manager and Austin Energy to perform a full analysis by September of 2012 of the different options available for the city to end
our addiction to the 600 megawatts of coal Austin owns at the Fayette coal plant near LaGrange.
The analysis must include:
• an examination of the water used by the coal plant;
• upcoming environmental regulations that the power plant will have to meet;
• alternative sources of power available to the City of Austin.
• presentations of the study by Austin Energy to both to the Electric Utility Commission and City Council by September, 2012.
A second resolution, sponsored by Chris Riley, Bill Spelman and Mike Martinez requires that Austin Energy develop a strategy and plan by December of this year on how they will meet their 800
megawatts of energy efficiency 2020 goal, including how they will conduct a much larger energy efficiency potential study.
Both resolutions passed.
"The two resolutions really go hand in hand since one of the ways we get off of coal is by increasing our goals and programs to be more efficient with the resources we do have," noted Reed.
Reed was on the initial generation task force that recommended
Austin Energy increase their energy efficiency goals and
look at how to cost-effectively quit coal.
Reed said he hoped they could complete the analysis well before the September 2012 deadline imposed by the City Council.