Friday, December 15, 2006

Coal Deal Gone

Probably a good idea as the uncertainly to the coal deal reduced its potential economic benefits.

Truckee rejects coal deal
Environmentally friendly sources of energy are the goal.
By Edie Lau - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Friday, December 15, 2006

Under glaring eyes of state officials and environmental activists across the country, the Truckee Donner Public Utility District rejected a 50-year deal to buy electricity from a Utah coal plant.

The board's 4-1 vote late Wednesday night means the Sierra town of Truckee will continue buying energy, probably even from coal-burning plants, with short-term contracts while it scouts more environmentally friendly sources of energy for its 12,000 customers.

"We're very, very pleased with the outcome," said Stefanie Olivieri, owner of a sportswear store in town and a director of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit environmental group. "It's an opportunity to move our (utility district) out of coal and into renewable sources for energy."

Besides producing conventional pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, burning coal emits lots of carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas considered largely responsible for global warming.

Truckee residents who opposed committing their community to coal power for the next two generations had allies in high places: Utility directors said they had received letters from U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, urging them to reject the deal.