As reported in the Texarkana Gazette, the Arkansas State Commission on Global Warming is likely to recommend a ban on new coal fired power plants. The Commission is also proposing construction of a new $1.5 billion dollar plant be delayed until carbon sequestration technology can be added to the plant.
What is the Arkansas Governor’s Commission on Global Warming? Here is a description taken right from its web page:
With the signing of Act 696 of the Arkansas 86Th General Assembly (HB2460), Governor Mike Beebe established the Governor’s Commission on Global Warming. By design the Commission represents a wide diversity of views and perspectives with members coming from business, industry, environmental groups, and academia.
The Commission is charged with setting a “global warming pollution reduction goal” for Arkansas and a “comprehensive strategic plan for implementation of the global warming pollution reduction goal.” The Act sets several study and evaluation requirements and requires a final report be provided to the Governor by November 1, 2008.
The developments in Arkansas represent yet another in a series of legal, legislative and political attacks on new coal fired power plants. The attacks have been successful, between 2007 and 2008 plans for at least 69 coal plants have been canceled.
In the article a utility representative comments that the decision would force continued use of older less efficient coal fired power plants. His argument that the decision will be bad overall for the environment.
While I sympathize with the argument we should not be adding to the problem, what alternatives are being suggested to replace old plants or meet ever increasing demands for electricity? While renewables are a great solution, there is no denying they do not provide the baseload generation of either a coal or nuclear plant.