PNS Daily Newscast - March 27, 2020 

The U.S. now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Despite the pandemic, Election 2020 continues and states are making changes.

2020Talks - March 27, 2020 

3.3 million people reported being jobless last week, according to new Labor Department numbers. And Puerto Rico was supposed to hold primaries this weekend, though they pushed it back to late April, because of COVID-19.

Rethinking Kalama Coal Plant: A Waste of Money?

December 3, 2007

Seattle, WA – This week, it's back to the drawing board for Energy Northwest -- or is it? The company's new coal-fired power plant for Kalama, Washington, was stopped last week with a unanimous decision by the state's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Committee. EFSEC said the plan didn't come close to meeting the state standards for containing global warming pollution.

Conservation groups say the plan has already cost public utility customers of Energy Northwest $4,700 a day. Aaron Robins, energy committee chair for the Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club, says there are other, better uses for that money.

"They could do so much better to just look forward 20 and 30 years, at where we're going to be when we need to be emitting half as much, or 80 percent less, carbon than we're emitting today."

Robins explains that would mean cutting out coal as an option, and focusing instead on conservation and energy efficiency, which could eliminate the need for a new plant altogether. The case was the first test of ESSB 6001, the climate change mitigation law passed by the 2007 Washington Legislature. Robins says no matter what type of plan the company comes up with next, it will be under the same intense scrutiny.

"The public knows what they're doing, the regulators know what they're doing, the Legislature knows what they're doing –- everybody's watching them."

Energy Northwest serves electric utilities in at least 16 Washington counties and cities. Washington is one of several states that have said 'no' to new coal plants this year.

Chris Thomas/John Robinson, Public News Service - WA