Coal

smokestackAt HEAL, we work hard to push our utility, Rocky Mountain Power, to move away from relying on dirty coal to embracing clean energy.

It’s challenging work, in part because power companies across America have done an especially impressive job of linking themselves with benign things, green and blue things, like grass, the sky, wind and the earth.

Despite that effective marketing, we and you know the truth: Utilities burning coal to generate electricity are a devastating force for ill. Their pollution sickens our families and is warming our planet. They are not moving nearly quickly enough towards wind, solar and geothermal power – and in many cases, they’re actively trying to block that transition.

The Worst in the West

A significant majority of Rocky Mountain Power’s electricity comes from burning coal and the next biggest chunk from natural gas. The data varies, depending upon the source, but roughly 80 to 85 percent of most Utahns’ electricity comes from polluting fossil fuels.

We need your help to force our utility — Rocky Mountain Power — to move away from dirty coal towards clean energy. Check back to this page regularly and read the below posts and news articles to find out more about that work.

To attract as many people as possible to our campaign targeting Rocky Mountain Power, we’ve created a short video. Please check the video out – we think it’s a powerful indictment of our utility’s hypocrisy. It’s just three minutes long, and we’re immensely proud of it:

For residents and businesses in the Salt Lake City area who receive their electricity from PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power, the company’s largest sources of power generation in Utah – coal-fired power plants – are far from sight, to the south in Carbon and Emery Counties. Basic information on pollution emissions from these plants, and on coal-fired power in the state more broadly, isn’t readily provided by the company to Utahns.

 Here’s a quick rundown or Rocky Mountain Power’s Coal Plants:

  • Hunter

    Three units, 1,320 megawatts total. Located near Castle Dale, Utah in Emery County. Owned and operated by PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power. Began operations in 1978.

  • Huntington

    Two units, 895 megawatts total. Located near Huntington, Utah in Emery County. Owned and operated by PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power. Began operations in 1974.

  • Sunnyside

    One unit, 51 megawatts. Located in East Carbon/Sunnyside, Utah, in Carbon County. PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power purchases 100% of the power from the plant, which is owned and operated by Exelon. Began operations in the 1990s. Burns coal waste from old mines.

  • Carbon Power Plant

    Located in helper in Helper, this coal plant has recently been retired.

Our campaigns pushing Rocky Mountain Power have many angles, from fighting against their proposed solar tax, to pushing the state of Utah to use the Regional Haze rule to crack down on coal power pollution, to shining a light on the tortuous thicket of rules that govern utilities which complicate HEAL’s efforts to wield our citizen activism power.

Hunter Power Plant, Emery County, Utah

Hunter Power Plant, Emery County, Utah


 

 


Recent updates on Coal…

NEWS: Rocky Mountain Power, other parties defend plan to raise Utah power bills to pay for solar power

Emma Penrod
Salt Lake Tribune
9/19/2017

State regulators have the future of Utah’s solar power industry in their hands — and, possibly, the future of your household electric bill — after a brief Monday hearing.

In public testimony early Monday, a representative of Rocky Mountain Power warned it could walk away from a long-sought settlement some believe could save the state’s growing solar industry — if the Public Service Commission changed key terms of the agreement.

“Adopting any of the proposed modifications would compromise the integrity of the [settlement], and the diligent effort of the signing parties to reach this agreement,” said Joelle Steward, the company’s director of rates and regulatory affairs.

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NEWS: State utility commission weighs approval of rooftop solar agreement

Amy Joi O'Donoghue
Deseret News
9/18/2017

SALT LAKE CITY — The three-member Public Service Commission is weighing a proposed agreement on rooftop solar between Rocky Mountain Power and a consortium of diverse groups, including the Utah Solar Energy Association, state Office of Consumer Services and top solar companies.

Commission members heard testimony and had a chance to ask questions during a Monday hearing, which also included comments from Western Resource Advocates and other opponents of the agreement. The deal was reached in August after years of negotiation.

The commission agreed to take the matter under advisement and said it would issue a decision within a "reasonable" amount of time.

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NEWS: Utah’s lawsuit against feds on hold after EPA says it might reverse Obama-era order to install pollution controls at 2 coal plants

Emma Penrod
Salt Lake Tribune
9/12/2017

A federal plan that would have required Rocky Mountain Power to install new pollution controls at two coal-fired power plants is now on hold indefinitely.

On Monday, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals granted requests for a stay to prevent that order from taking effect prior to a decision in a related lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. The court also put hearings in that case on hold indefinitely after top EPA officials said they want to reconsider the agency’s past decision to push forward with the plan.

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