Washington State to Close Coal Plants, Offshore Oil Drilling Comes to Vote

Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire signed legislation today to close its remaining two coal plants, and will replace them with renewable energy. One plant will close in 2020, the other in 2025.

In the meantime, the legislation requires TransAlta to install additional air pollution control technology in 2013 to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at its 1600 MW plant. Transalta is also required to contribute $30 million into a community investment fund, which will finance economic development and energy efficiency projects, and $25 million into an energy technology transition fund to support innovative energy technologies and companies in the state.

Congress to Vote on Offshore Drilling Tomorrow

Meanwhile, a Washington State congressional representative, Doc Hastings (R-WA) is pushing forward on expanded offshore oil drilling.

Three bills he introduced will be voted on tomorrow in the House. The bills would:

  • open sensitive areas in Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to drilling.
  • rush offshore oil leases through a hasty approval process that favors oil companies.
  • reopen the Gulf of Mexico to drilling while it is still recovering from last year’s spill, and where new safety measures have yet to be approved.

Please call your representative and ask her/him to oppose HR 1229, 1230, and 1231.

Explain in your own words why more offshore drilling is not the answer. Here are a few talking points to get you started:

  • The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the single worst accidental oil spill in history. Congress should pass laws to prevent disasters like this from happening again, not make it even easier to drill offshore.
  • No new offshore drilling should be allowed until strong  safety measures are instituted.
  • Rather than drilling for every last drop of oil, we should be transitioning to clean, renewable energy sources.
  • Drilling for more oil will not lead to lower prices at the pump. The oil is sold on the world’s open markets, not necessarily to the US.
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