Friday, September 08, 2006

Electricity vs. the Environment

Environmentalists are protesting an SCAQMD proposal to allow new power plants to buy air quality credits heretofore reserved for hospitals, fire departments and the like.

Detractors say there will be a net increase in air pollution accross the state. Furthermore, they are also advancing environmental justice arguments, noting that nearly all of the newly proposed plants are in low income or minority communities.

Supporters of the plan say we desperately need the power and these plants are the most environmentally friendly ever designed. The economic reality, however, is that without these credits, the plants would never be built and California would remain underweight in its power capacity.

Both sides make compelling arguments so this promises to be regulatory battle worth watching.

New Power Plants May Get Leeway On Smog [Los Angeles Times]