Coal is the new coal

January 22, 2007 | By | 3 Replies More

According to Rolling Stone (January 25, 2007), TXU, an electric power company based in Dallas has recently announced plans to build 11 new coal plants in Texas over the next four years.  These additional coal plants would put more pollution into the air each year than 11 million SUVs. These will be the “old technology” types of coal plants, rather than the “newer and cleaner method known as coal gasification.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry announced fast-tracking permits for these new coal-fired plants two weeks after the recent election.  Rolling Stone also reports that TXU had pre-rewarded Perry’s reelection campaign with more than $130,000.

TXU is reportedly undeterred by the protests of 30 Texas cities and towns represented 7 million people. 

They are already talking about expanding beyond Texas with another fleet of new coal plants in other states.  By pushing ahead so heedlessly, they are essentially betting the company on the belief that most Texans-and most Americans-would prefer to risk epic storms, droughts, crop failures and polluted air rather than to save the planet.

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Category: Corruption, Energy, global warming, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Cleptomanx says:

    Leave it to a Texan to "stay the course" when others are telling him he's making a grave error.

  2. grumpypilgrim says:

    "By pushing ahead so heedlessly, they are essentially betting the company on the belief that most Texans-and most Americans-would prefer to risk epic storms, droughts, crop failures and polluted air rather than to save the planet."

    I don't think that's how most Americans view the trade-off. They view it as whether to risk epic storms, droughts, crop failures and polluted air *which primarily hurt other people, sometime in the future* rather than give up cheap electricity *for themselves, now*. Our planet's atmosphere, along with our planet's oceans, are the two forms of real estate that are not privately owned. The "tragedy of the commons" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons) is that they will be exploited by individuals who care more about their own immediate needs than about potential future damage to others that their behavior might create. As Aristotle observed: "That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is himself concerned as an individual." It is why our planet's oceans are over-fished, why our planet's endangered animals are poached, why our planet's air and water are polluted, why we don't conserve non-renewable fossil fuels, etc. That which is available to all is conserved by none.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    What's the latest on coal plants in Texas? The ranchers are fighting them. Click here.

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