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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Trans Alta Bill Is Finally Law

This week, the Trans Alta Coal Plant Bill, was signed by Gov Gregoire and is now law. 
Senator Maralyn Chase was at the bill signing.
Governor Gregoire signed the Trans-Alta Bill 

The Centralia Coal Plant will be phased to natural gas by 2025 and continue to provide crucial family-wage jobs in the Centralia area for many years to come. The coal plant is one of the largest contibutors of carbon pollution in WA State. Passage of this bill was one of the top four Environmental Priorities Bills for the Environmental Priorities Coalition.
Trans-Alta Plant
ph credit, Earthjustice

Bloomsberg has the story for AP.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed legislation that will gradually shut down the TransAlta Corp. plant, the only coal-burning power plant in Washington.
The governor went to the Centralia plant Friday to sign the bill recently passed by the Legislature to improve public health.
The legislation calls for TransAlta to provide $55 million in economic development assistance and to install new pollution controls at the plant before it finally closes by 2025.
TransAlta will get expedited permits to build a natural gas-fired plant in Lewis County to come online by 2020. The Canadian company also will be allowed enter into long-term agreements to sell its electricity to other utilities.
Senator Chase released this statement this week:
Senator Maralyn Chase
(D) 32nd Dist
Sen. Chase applauds “mutually beneficial” deal to close coal plant 
OLYMPIA – Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, was one of several elected officials present in Centralia on Friday as Gov. Gregoire signed a bill which will close the TransAlta coal plant in 2025.
“This issue has been a particular passion of mine for many, many years,” said Sen. Chase, who proposed a similar measure while a member of the House in 2005 and is a co-sponsor of this year’s version of the bill. “I’m so pleased that all sides were able to come together for a mutually beneficial solution to a problem that has plagued our environment for so long.”
Under Senate Bill 5769, the first of two boilers at the TransAlta plant will be shut down by 2020 with the second scheduled to follow in 2025. This bill provides a timetable for moving off coal energy production that protects the public's health, supports the continued vibrancy of the Centralia community and economy, and lays out a plan for the future of TransAlta.
This plan requires the Canada-based TransAlta Corporation to provide $55 million for economic development and other assistance and install additional air pollution controls. In exchange, the company will be allowed to enter into long-term agreements to sell coal powered electricity to other utilities, while protecting ratepayers.
The Centralia coal energy facility is a major source of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
“This is a monumental victory not only for people concerned about the long-term health of our environment, but for those who still believe government can work together to solve problems,” Sen. Chase said. “I applaud Sen. (Phil) Rockefeller and Rep. (Richard) DeBolt as well as negotiators for TransAlta , the environmental community, and citizen activists from across the state for their hard work and sacrifice during this process.”

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