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Protest Against New Coal Power Plants Comes from Far and Wide

December 18, 2006

Denver, CO - Westminster-based Tri-State Generation's plan to construct one of the country's largest coal-fired power plants near the Kansas border is drawing protests from near and far. Environmental groups and state officials from as far away as New York are crying foul over the global warming pollution they say the new plant would add to the atmosphere while also boosting local energy bills.

Jake Mefley, with Environment Colorado, says Tri-State needs to develop renewable energy sources instead of committing to more coal.

"Approximately a third of the greenhouse gases that are produced in the United States come from coal plants alone. There are better alternatives."

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is also leading a protest by a group of state attorneys general over the plan because of global warming concerns. Closer to home, Mefley says Tri-State customers could feel the heat in their pocketbooks, too, if the plan goes through.

"They don't realize the huge rate increases that they're likely to experience over the next five years. They're going to be paying for power for more than just the membership of these co-ops."

Mefley adds that it doesn't make sense to ship coal from Wyoming to the plant in Kansas to generate electricity that would then be sent back over expensive transmission lines. Tri-State says the new plants are necessary to stabilize energy prices in the face of growing demand.

A report on the effects of the proposed plants on energy rates can be found online at

Eric Mack/David Law, Public News Service - CO