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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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October 29, 2013

CPS officially notifies ERCOT of plan to close Deely

CPS Energy officially notified the Texas power grid operator, ERCOT, last week of its intent to "indefinitely suspend" operations at its coal-fired J.T. Deely power plant as of Dec. 31, 2018.

The city-owned utility announced it made the filing on its blog Monday.

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October 29, 2013

Federal Judge Gives EPA 60 Days to Set Deadline for Coal Ash Regulations

Washington, D.C. – A federal judge issued a memorandum today in a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to finalize federal coal ash regulations. The Court gave the EPA 60 days to "file a written submission with this Court setting forth a proposed deadline for its compliance with [EPA’s] obligation to review and revise if necessary its Subtitle D regulations concerning coal ash, along with its legal justification for its proposed deadline."

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October 28, 2013

Senator questions utility commission’s authority to change power market

Oct. 28, 2013

Sen. Troy Fraser, an original supporter of deregulating the state wholesale electricity market in the 1990s, on Monday criticized the Texas Public Utility Commission as lacking authority to redesign the state’s wholesale electricity market.

Fraser, chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, said he intends to convene a hearing to question the three members of the utility commission about their 2-to-1 decision last week to begin mandating the level of electricity reserves, a first step to possibly redesigning the market.

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October 22, 2013

The biggest leveraged buyout in history is on the brink of collapse—and fracking is to blame

If Energy Future Holdings (EFH), the Dallas-based holding company for Texas’s biggest electricity utilities, descends into bankruptcy as many expect, it would rank among the 10 biggest non-financial bankruptcies in history. The company’s potential collapse partly reflects private equity firms’ penchant for big debt-funded deals. It’s also a case of the world’s smartest investors failing to anticipate the vast implications of the US shale boom.
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August 27, 2013

Doctors, environmental groups want tighter emissions limits on Energy Future Holdings’ coal plants

Expecting Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings to file bankruptcy soon, doctors and environmentalists will try Wednesday to force pollution cuts at the company’s oldest coal plants — either through costly upgrades or replacement with cleaner energy sources.

The Dallas County Medical Society and several environmental groups, backed by a Texas Medical Association resolution, said they will file a formal petition for rulemaking that asks the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to tighten emissions limits on three plants effective in 2018.

A spokesman for Luminant, EFH’s generating arm, said Tuesday that no new rules are needed.

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August 16, 2013

Department of Justice Sues Luminant for Failing to Clean Up Coal Plants

Luminant failed to protect Texans from toxic air pollution

Dallas, TX– Today the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an enforcement action in federal district court against Luminant Generating Company, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings, for violations of the Clean Air Act. The DOJ filed the case against Luminant on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which first issued a Notice of Violation to Luminant in July 2012. According to EPA, Luminant made unauthorized changes to the Big Brown coal-fired power plant in Freestone County and the Martin Lake coal-fired power plant in Rusk County without properly controlling sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. The case filed today under seal follows up on EPA’s Notice of Violation and is the next step in ensuring that Luminant comes into compliance with the Clean Air Act.

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Friday, Feb. 15, 2013

White Stallion Energy suspends coal plant project

BAY CITY, Texas — An energy company says it is halting development of a coal-fired power plant 90 miles southwest of Houston that ran into fierce local opposition.

The White Stallion Energy Center announced Friday it was stopping work on the 1,200-megawatt power project in Matagorda County.

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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