Sunday, September 2, 2007

US regulators consider global warming in power plant case

LITTLE ROCK — A change in climates over the generations has the Arkansas Public Service Commission taking a hard look at a proposed power plant for southwestern Arkansas. Is the use of low-cost coal worth the greater amount of carbon emissions from the 600-megawatt unit?

Southwestern Electric Power Co. acknowledges the proposed $1.3 billion John W. Turk power station will have a larger "carbon footprint" than plants powered by other fuels, but say complaints can be boiled down to "Not in my back yard."

Plant opponents say they don't want the power station in their back yards for a good reason: industrial activity and increased pollution will damage prime hunting grounds near Fulton, and contribute to global warming.

While scientists say Earth's climate has changed, so has the regulatory climate. With increased worries about global warming, PSC chairman Paul Suskie said last week that state environmental agencies must do their jobs while the PSC does its: making sure consumer costs are justified. Read More