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PNS Daily Newscast - November 23, 2020 

The holiday forecast calls for fewer cars on the road for Thanksgiving; dealing with racial impact of cap and trade.

2020Talks - November 23, 2020 

Trump campaign is running out of legal options as more states certify. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

Nevadans to Speak Up on "Old King Coal"

February 5, 2007

Nevada residents will have their say on the major issues, such as energy needs and global warming, associated with plans to build another coal-fired power plant in the state. Tonight, hearings begin to take public comments on the Ely Energy Center, a 1500 MW plant proposed for the Ely area.

Charles Benjamin, director of Nevada's Western Resource Advocates office, warns the plant would belch out 12.5 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year, just as climate scientists have determined that humans -- and their power generation methods -- are "very likely" the main drivers of global warming.

"Even the optimistic scientists are telling us we have less than ten years before we reach a tipping point at which the effects of global warming will be irreversible. It's really the wrong direction to be going, to put even more CO2 into the atmosphere."

But the new plant has its advocates, who say it will create jobs and emit fewer emissions than those built 20 years ago. Benjamin says coal plants have lifespans of about 75 years, which means decades of CO2 and mercury emissions, and adds that Nevadans should think twice before investing in "old technology," like coal.

"We've got some terrific renewable resources in geothermal, wind and solar power that are just beginning to be tapped in Nevada. My concern is that if these coal plants come on line, they will kill the demand for alternative energies for many years to come."

With Nevada growing quickly, the Sierra Club's Lydia Ball says it is especially important to step up these alternatives, along with energy conservation efforts.

"There's no reason to build a $3.8 billion coal plant if we don't need that extra energy, and we could decrease our energy needs by 30 percent, just by implementing current conservation technology."

Monday's hearing in Las Vegas, at the Bureau of Land Management Field Office, is the first of five statewide. It begins at 5:00 PM.

Michael Clifford/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - NV