Texas Size Coal Debate
Reflects National Need for BalancedEnergy Policy
(Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC). Should you have any questions, please feel free to send an email to Membership@BalancedEnergy.org or call us on the toll-free line, 1-877-358-6699. )
A growing population (estimated to be 68 percent larger in 2010 than 2000) and booming economy spell good news for Texas, but with that growth comes an increased demand for electricity.Texans already use more electricity than any other state, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas projects that demand for electricity will rise 20 percent over the next nine years and over 40 percent by 2025. Currently, there are not enough power plants in the state to produce the electricity that will be needed in the near future. That means new plants must be built.Right now, 17 modern coal-fueled power plants have been proposed in the state, some of which will replace older, more costly and polluting plants that will be retired. There is a lot of controversy about whether these new coal plants can deliver the cleanest and most reliable electricity for Texas' growing needs.With the demand for electricity expected to rise nationally, the debate in Texas reflects the broader discussion about pursuing a balanced U.S. energy policy. As you continue to follow—and hopefully participate—in the debate on this issue, Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC) wants to share some facts that you might not know:Adding more coal to America's energy mix can help ensure reliable, affordable power—and still ensure that we improve air quality and protect the environment. Here's why:
Coal is affordable, averaging one-third the cost of petroleum and natural gas.
The price of coal is relatively stable. It doesn't fluctuate up and down—mostly up—like the price of oil and natural gas do.
Coal is abundant. We have a 250-year supply (at the rate of current use) right here in the U.S.
Electricity from coal is cleaner than ever and getting continuously cleaner with advancing technologies.
New power plants built today are, on average, at least 80 percent cleaner than existing ones, which have also become much cleaner over the past two decades. This includes the new plants on the drawing board in Texas and in other states across the country.
Within the near future, new power plants will utilize advanced technology that may be able to produce electricity with near zero emissions of air pollutants and CO2. Cutting-edge technologies are being developed to trap CO2 before it enters the atmosphere.
Both older and newer power plants must meet increasingly strict federal and state environmental regulations. It's smart to rely on a mix of energy sources, including renewables, to satisfy the growing demand for electricity. Clean, affordable, domestic coal is an essential part of that mix. We also should use electricity as efficiently as possible in our homes, businesses and factories. You can take part in the energy debate. One of the ways you can do this is by learning as much as you can, and then sharing that information with your friends, colleagues, and elected officials. You can find additional information on the websites listed below.