Coal Fired Power Plant Creates Controversy - 8 News NOW

Tedd Florendo, Reporter

Coal Fired Power Plant Creates Controversy

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Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Resources say a proposed power plant will lower rising energy costs. But before the project is built, the Sierra Club wants power companies to consider using natural resources. They say the project is not environmentally safe.

Now, the Public Utilities Commission will decide if the project will be built.

Nevada Power and the Sierra Club clashed Monday night in an important meeting at the Bureau of Land Management to discuss a coal fired power plant that Nevada Power wants to build in White Pine County to provide energy at a more cost efficient price.

Sierra Club members showed up at the meeting wearing soot covered clothing and holding signs opposing the coal powered plant. Some even wore costumes -- like the smiling solar power plant and wind turbines -- to show that there are other options for a cleaner source of energy.

It's a $3.8 billion project proposed by Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Resources.

"What it will do is provide a low cost reliable stable price of energy and electricity for our customers," said David Sims, Sierra Pacific Resources.

Sims says the price of natural gas is too high. The coal shipped in from Wyoming will provide a steady resource of energy and keep power bills to a minimum.

"Not only is it safe and reliable. But, we'll also use some of the advanced emission clean up technologies that are available far and beyond the coal plants built in the 70's," Sims said.

He says the coal facility will burn much cleaner than its predecessors.

"If you look at these orange and red colors. That's all of our concentrated solar potential," said Lydia Ball, Sierra Club.  She doesn't want the facility in Nevada. Her proposal is for utilizing our climate.

"Like wind. There's a potential for about 300 megawatts in that same area they want to build the coal plants. Including the potential for solar energy," Ball said. She insists these options are cleaner and safer for our environment and a coal facility in our backyard is a bad idea.

The purpose of this meeting is to hear both sides give their opinions on the coal facility. The BLM and the Public Utilities Commission will look over the ideas. Ultimately, it will be up to the Public Utilities Commission to decide whether this billion dollar plant will be built or not.

Email your comments tp Reporter Tedd Florendo.

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