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Oct. 3, 2015

EPA will determine Coleto Creek’s air pollution impact

The Environmental Protection Agency has identified Coleto Creek and 11 other coal-fired power plants in the state as high sulfur dioxide emitters.
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to set air quality standards for sulfur dioxide, which can cause respiratory illnesses, harm the environment and damage property.

In 2010, the agency revised its national air quality standard for the pollutant. Now, the agency is collecting monitoring data from 12 coal-fired power plants in the state that the agency found emit large amounts of sulfur dioxide.

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June 10, 2014

Energy Future Holdings approved for loan

The parent company of Luminant, which operates Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant north of Glen Rose, received court approval for a multi-billion dollar loan to sustain its retail electric operations while in bankruptcy proceedings.

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June 2, 2014

Texas Environmental Leaders Applaud Landmark Climate Change Initiative

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Federal carbon safeguards will drive investment in clean energy industries and jobs

The Obama administration today announced its landmark climate change initiative – the first-ever protection against carbon emissions from existing power plants. Carbon emissions, or greenhouse gases, cause climate change and are already costing Texans millions of dollars in damage from drought, wildfires and extreme heat. The new standards, which will reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, will clean up power plants that generate most of Texas’s carbon pollution. They will allow states to give power plants broad options for offsetting their emissions by investing in solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. In Texas, where climate change has already brought devastating drought and heat, leaders of environmental groups welcomed the safeguards, making the following comments.

"There is no state that suffers more from climate disruption than Texas. We have extreme drought, wildfires, and serious water shortages. There’s also no state in a better position to cut carbon emissions. We already generate more wind power than any other state, and our reliance on all renewable energy sources has increased 140 percent in recent years. We need to take advantage of the new standards to reduce climate disruption and invest in the 21st century energy industries – solar and wind power, energy efficiency and energy storage.

Action on climate change now will save money in the future in lower electricity rates, health costs, food prices and disaster-related insurance. Texas’s shift to renewables is already generating good, high-paying jobs. Together, they employ five times more people than the state’s coal industry. If our state leaders handle these new carbon standards correctly, they can be a springboard for Texas into a new energy future." – Tom "Smitty" Smith, director, Public Citizen’s Texas office.

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Putin and the Federal Coal Lease in Montana

Vladimir Putin

Will Russian President Vladimir Putin get richer thanks to a sweetheart government coal deal in Montana? Last month the Treasury Department informed Congress that Mr. Putin personally held an interest in an international oil and gas investment fund called the Gunvor Group, run out of Geneva, Switzerland. Team Putin adamantly denied his involvement, but the Treasury Department insisted it was right.

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25 April 2014

Clock ticking, bankruptcy near for Energy Future Holdings

Negotiations to determine the fate of Energy Future Holdings are expected to continue through the weekend ahead of a critical deadline next week.

With close to $40 billion in debt and a shrinking revenue base, EFH has long said it will have to file for bankruptcy eventually. Now the company is in talks with creditors in hopes of working out a final-hour debt restructuring deal that minimizes the power company’s time in court.

But time is running out. The company delayed a $109 million interest payment April 1, and if they don’t pay by Wednesday they go into default. At that point its creditors could call in their debt, leaving EFH with little choice but to file for bankruptcy.

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Martin Lake Plant cutting output by a third

Citing financial concerns, Luminant Energy intends to temporarily close one of three power producing units at the Martin Lake Power Plant.

Luminant Corporate spokeswoman Meranda Cohn said the company hopes the shut-down is in full effect by mid-December, pending approval by ERCOT -the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

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December 30, 2013

Energy Future Holdings Faces Probable Bankruptcy In Fall 2014

2014 is likely to be a rough year for merger and acquisition activity in Texas — with one of the biggest deals in the state’s history likely to unravel in the second half.

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November 01, 2013

Energy Future Holdings Returned to Profit on Hedging

Energy Future Holdings Corp., the Texas power company seeking to restructure almost $44 billion of debt, reported its first quarterly profit in more than two years partly because of a gain on commodities hedging.

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Big Win

Celebrating Las Brisas Ruling Thursday 7/19/12
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AUGUST 22, 2012

Mystery Behind Sandy Creek Power Plant Begins to Unravel

Robert Cervenka
Robert Cervenka, a neighbor of the troubled coal power plant, has been ranching here for over seventy years.

What happened at the Sandy Creek power plant? The new coal-powered generator, one of the few developing coal projects in the state, had a strange malfunction last fall, setting back construction on the plant a year, and pushing the Texas electric grid even further into a tight spot. The power station in Riesel was set to produce 925 megawatts of electricity for Texas, enough to power an estimated 900,000 homes.

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The Issue

Seven more dirty coal-burning power plants are being rushed through the permitting process in Texas. Our health, our economy and our air quality are at risk.

  • Pollution from coal plants shortens the lives of 1,160 Texans each year. It also causes 196,149 lost work days, 1,105 hospitalizations and 33,987 asthma attacks every year.
  • Each year, 144 lung cancer deaths and 1,791 heart attacks in Texas are attributable to power plant pollution.
  • A UT Health Science Center San Antonio study found that autism increases by 17% for every 1,000 pounds of mercury that is emitted locally in Texas.

Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars

Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars Narrated by Robert Redford and produced by The Redford Center at the Sundance Preserve and Alpheus Media, FIGHTING GOLIATH: TEXAS COAL WARS follows the story of Texans fighting a high-stakes battle for clean air. The film introduces the unlikely partners-mayors, ranchers, CEOs, community groups, legislators, lawyers, and citizens-that have come together to oppose the construction of 19 conventional coal-fired power plants that were slated to be built in Eastern and Central Texas and that were being fast-tracked by the Governor.

Texans Beat Big Coal, and a Film Shows How
"David had only a slingshot. Texans fighting big coal have Robert Redford."
Read New York Times article about the movie

Voices From The Community

Doctor Bass Rancher

“Increased levels of mercury in our waters – primarily from coal fired power plants – have forced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to warn pregnant women and any woman who might want to become pregnant to avoid or limit fish consumption. This year alone, an estimated 630,000 children will be born to women with unsafe blood levels of mercury, as determined by the EPA. This in utero exposure can contribute to severe mental retardation, cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness, and seizures.”

-Dr. Kimberly Carter, Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Austin, TX

“Mercury gets into our waterways and into our fish and the contamination
has made fish unsafe to eat in 12 water bodies in Texas. We should protect
the health of the citizens of Texas, especially our children, by reducing
pollution and preventing additional mercury emissions.”

— Ed Parten, President of Texas Black Bass Unlimited, Houston, TX

“Jo and I have been farming and ranching on this land for 45 years. Several
of the proposed coal plants would be very close to us. The pollution from
existing coal burning power plants already puts our health at risk. We’re both
cancer survivors and both suffer from asthma. More coal plants will only
make it worse. The pollution is not good for our crops, cattle or wildlife
either. The Texas Farm Bureau policy is that no new coal plant permits be
issued unless they meet the lowest achievable emission rate (LAER) standard.
Coal plants should be no more polluting than new natural gas fired plants
with the newest technology and they’re right. We’re opposed to the proposed
coal plants, and urge others to join in to protect our land and our lives.”

— Robert and Jo Cervenka, Ranchers, Reisel, TX

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