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:
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.
Two units, 895 megawatts total. Located near Huntington, Utah in Emery County. Owned and operated by PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power. Began operations in 1974.
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.
Recent updates on Coal…
Don't Forget to also
Urge Gov. Herbert to VETO HB65
Call 801-538-100 and ask Gov Herbert to veto this bad air quality bill!
On days like this, the old adage "some things are too good to be true" seems too fitting. Last June, HEAL and our allies had a big win in our fight to clean up Utah's two coal fired power plants, Hunter and Huntington. Help keep that victory alive!
With your help, HEAL directed thousands of comments and packed hearing after hearing with people all asking the EPA the same thing - To force Rocky Mountain Power to install important pollution controls on their dirty coal plants.
And it worked! The EPA sided with our arguments. Your letters and comments helped win the day. Hunter and Huntington were finally going to have to install controls that almost every other coal plant in the west already has.
It was a great day and we shared it with you in a celebratory email soon after. (We don't get to do too many of those!) Things were looking pretty great until the November election and we feared it was only a matter of time before there was an attempt to overturn the rule.
Well those fears have unfortunately been realized. On Tuesday, Utah's own "i-phones and health care" Representative Jason Chaffetz and Senator Mike Lee introduced legislation which would overturn the EPA's ruling. Representative Chaffetz tried to do it quietly hoping no one would notice. Luckily nothing gets past your local clean air and energy advocated and HEAL quickly alerted the media as to what was happening. You can read more about it in this Deseret News Article byclicking here.
Now to that point, we need your help! Let the Representative and Senator know that you support cleaning up these power plants and to stop this legislation. Click here to take action now! There you can learn more about the EPA's ruling and the legislation being run to overturn it. Then you can send a lette to Utah's congressional delegation.
There are some dirty polluted clouds on the horizon but with your help we can beat them back!
Your EPA Champion,
Michael O'Reagan Shea
By Elizabeth Suggs
Posted MARCH 14, 2017
SALT LAKE CITY — Congressman Jason Chaffetz and Sen. Mike Lee announced on Monday they will fight to overrule federal regulations targeting two Utah power plants aimed at cleaning up air quality in Utah national parks.
“The great state of Utah already has proposed a perfectly safe and effective nitrogen oxide regulation regime,” Sen. Lee said in a statement. “The EPA’s costly new regulations would add hundreds of millions to the power bills of working families and all for an imperceptible change in visibility.”
According to a joint press release from the Sierra Club and HEAL Utah, this move is exactly opposite of what many in Utah want. The release said over 45,000 people, including 100 business owners, in Utah, wrote to the EPA about their concerns for national parks and are in support to protect Utah’s air.
“Just as Jason Chaffetz is woefully distant from low-income Utahns who struggle to afford healthcare, he is also out of touch with our families’ desire for clean air and pristine national parks,” Matt Pacenza, HEAL Utah’s executive director, said in the press release. “After years of careful analysis, the EPA rightfully concluded that limiting pollution from coal-burning is a necessary step toward protecting our families’ health and our scenic vistas. It’s appalling to see how quickly Utah’s Congressional delegation will undo years of scientific study to protect a monopoly utility’s profits.”
... To read the full article, please click here...Read more...
NEWS: Chaffetz, Lee take aim at haze ruling that would reduce pollution at two Utah coal power plants
Salt Lake Tribune
By: Emma Penrod
March 14, 2017
n the latest turn of the decade-long dispute over Utah's Regional Haze Rule, Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Sen. Mike Lee introduced federal legislation to overturn a 2016 decision to require additional pollution controls at two Utah power plants.
In a Monday announcement of the proposal, Chaffetz said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency exceeded its authority when it partially rejected a plan drafted by Utah regulators and decided instead to require emissions-reduction steps at Rocky Mountain Power's Hunter and Huntington coal-fired power plants. He said rejecting the EPA decision would enable Utah to implement its original plan.
The Regional Haze Rule, part of the federal Clean Air Act, mandates the restoration of "natural" air conditions in national parks and wilderness areas by the year 2064. Under that rule, each state is required to develop a plan for reducing emissions from sources near these areas, with EPA determining whether the state plans are acceptable.
Attempts to reach Chaffetz for further comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.
In 2016, according to Chaffetz's statement, the "EPA rejected Utah's plan using criteria not granted in the statute" and "instead used the rule to impose a problematic federal plan that imposes an estimated $700 million price tag, but achieves no visible improvement."
These actions, the Republican said, are "typical of Obama-era federal overreach and must be repealed."
Environmental advocates said the proposal is the latest in a string of attempts by U.S. Congressional leaders to undo rules passed under the Obama administration. The Regional Haze Rule, they say, dates back to the 1970s.
... To read the full article, please click here...Read more...