A coalition of regional and state-based environmental groups is attempting to stop the State of Nevada from authorizing the construction of three new coal-fired power plants in the state. Three regional power companies are negotiating with the state environmental regulators behind closed doors. And it?s reported that the power companies are drafting a memo of understanding with the state over the level of greenhouse gas emissions that will be allowed from any new power plant built in the Silver State. In secret. The Nevadans for Clean, Affordable, Reliable Energy has asked the state agency to open the negotiations to the public.
By excluding the public, the state is denying citizens a place at the table where a monumental decision will be made, one that has serious ramifications for the state. Coal plants are naturally dirty and belch out huge amounts of pollution and greenhouse gases, all things that will be increasingly regulated. The environmentalists argue that the construction of the plants pose a huge financial risk for the state?s electric consumers, and citizens and business owners should have a voice in the negotiations. Even some local voices in favor of the plants have called for regulators to open up the hearings and include the environmentalists.
A little transparency seems in order.