Today, a small group of physicians from the Dallas County Medical Society, along with environmental activists, filed at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for more emissions regulations at three Luminant coal plants in East Texas. This filing, the latest in an ongoing campaign, was completely unnecessary.
With Texas air becoming cleaner, the record is clear that existing laws and regulations are working.
We certainly share in everyone’s concern and desire for cleaner air. That’s why Luminant has a strong and proud history of meeting or exceeding the requirements of all state and federal emissions standards at Big Brown, Martin Lake and Monticello and all of our power plants.
In today’s case, the doctors’ diagnosis is wrong and misleading. The reason the Dallas-Fort Worth area does not meet the federal ozone standard is largely because of nitrogen oxide emissions from vehicles, not our coal plants. In fact, the TCEQ reports, more than 80 percent of NOx, the emission that leads to ozone formation, comes from mobile sources.
But blaming the real cause doesn’t fit with these activists’ narrow agenda of trying to close coal plants and force Texans to pay higher costs for their electric power from less reliable sources. Even the report by Rice University Associate Professor Dr. Daniel Cohan estimates the cost of replacing the capacity of these plants with wind power at well over $50 billion and solar energy at $40 billion.
The Cohan report isn’t a realistic plan for a rapidly growing state like Texas that must have reliable electric generation as power demand increases.With the Texas electric grid operating close to its targeted reserve margin, plants of this size are critical to ensure the stability of the grid year-round and especially during hot Texas summers.
With a combined capacity of nearly 5,300 megawatts, these three plants generate enough electricity to power more than one million Texas homes in periods of peak demand and more than 2.6 million Texas homes in normal conditions.
In the last five years, Energy Future Holdings has spent more than $10 billion in investments across Texas for new projects and to improve our facilities.
Of that $10 billion, $850 million has been spent for environmental technology and other improvements to provide cleaner generation from our coal-fueled power plants.
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Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., is a competitive power generation business, including mining, wholesale marketing and trading, and development operations. Luminant has more than 15,400 megawatts of generation in Texas, including 2,300 MW fueled by nuclear power and 8,000 MW fueled by coal. The company is also one of the largest purchasers of wind-generated electricity in Texas and the nation. EFH is a Dallas-based energy holding company that has a portfolio of competitive and regulated energy subsidiaries, primarily in Texas. Visit http://www.luminant.com/ or http://www.energyfutureholdings.com/ for additional information.