Center For Energy Efficiency And Renewable Technologies; Environmental Defense Rocky Mountain Office; Western Resource Advocates Extending California's Protective Standards On Global Warming To Imported Coal

Clearing California's Coal Shadow From The American West

California has long purchased power from out-of-state coal-fired power plants located in the heart of the American West that emit much greater levels of pollution than would be allowed in the Golden State. Now, the Intermountain West faces an unprecedented resurgence in new coal plants that are eyeing the growing California market for energy.

If built as designed, these coal plants would nullify California's in-state investments in lowering global warming pollution and thwart the nation's progress in grappling with climate change. In a groundbreaking action last week, the California Energy Commission called for California's distant coal plants to meet the Golden State's own global warming and clean air standards.

But this decision is only a first step towards providing protective standards for all energy produced for California. Clearing California's Coal Shadow from the American West, a new report by the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, Western Resource Advocates and Environmental Defense, takes a hard look at these pressing issues. The report is available at: www.environmentaldefense.org/go/californiacoal

"By investing in cost-effective, safer energy here in California, we can sensibly address the urgent problem of global warming, support new jobs at home, and lead the nation in developing clean air solutions," said V. John White, Executive Director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies.

"For far too long, California has purchased energy from out-of-state coal plants in the Intermountain West that discharge huge amounts of global warming pollution, threaten human health and pollute the grand vistas of our most treasured national parks," said Environmental Defense senior attorney Vickie Patton.

"We can meet California's and the region's growing energy demand head on while also addressing global warming pollution by using energy more efficiently and multiplying our reliance on renewable energy and other cost-effective clean energy solutions," said John Nielsen, Energy Program Director, Western Resource Advocates.

The new report shows that each year California's existing out-of-state coal plants release a staggering 67 million tons of global-warming carbon dioxide, as much as 11 million cars. They also discharge ten times more smog-forming pollution and 200 times more mercury than all of the power plants in California. Meanwhile more than 14,000 megawatts of new coal-fired power plants are under various stages of development in the Interior West, many with a sharp eye on the California market and no measures for addressing their vast quantities of global warming pollution.

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