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Advocates Say: Last Chance to Retire Reid Gardner in 2012

PHOTO: Reid Gardner power plant from above. Google images.
PHOTO: Reid Gardner power plant from above. Google images.
October 12, 2012

LAS VEGAS – Local advocates are being blunt - calling it their "last chance" to transition the Reid Gardner coal-fired power plant to clean energy in 2012.

The plant was called Nevada's "big dirty secret" by Jane Feldman, conservation chair for the Southern Nevada Group of the Sierra Club. Feldman testified Thursday, telling the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that the 50-year-old coal-fired power plant is responsible for $28 million in public health costs each year, and is also a burden on ratepayers.

"It's past time to retire Reid Gardner; ratepayers will save $59 million over a 20-year planning horizon, if we close Reid Gardner in 2013."

NV Energy, which operates the plant, contends ratepayers would be better served by keeping it in operation for another ten years.

Feldman told the commission that more than 600,000 Nevadans of all ages, who are at risk for asthma and cardiovascular disease, would be a lot healthier if the plant is retired.

"We know that closing Reid Gardner will also clean up the air, and relieve the health burden that the Moapa Paiutes and other people who live here in the region are under, because of burning coal at Reid Gardner."

The PUC took testimony in two sessions on Thursday in what was the final scheduled hearing on the future of Reid Gardner for 2012.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV