Last Updated:November 28 @ 04:05 pm

Harry Reid demands closure of coal fired power plant

By Ken Ritter

LAS VEGAS (AP) - U.S. Sen. Harry Reid on Tuesday called for the closure of a coal-fired power plantoutside Las Vegas, saying he expects opposition from NV Energy Inc. but the facility is antiquated and a health risk to American Indians who live nearby.

"There is no clean coal," the Senate Democratic leader declared after meeting with several members of the Moapa Band of Paiutes who live near the Reid Gardner station and a handful of representatives ofthe Sierra Club and Nevada Conservation League who want the plant to close.

"We have to stop further degradation of the land and air as a result of burning coal," Reid said. "The solution is to close the plant. We want the boilers shut off."

A Republican party spokesman, Darren Littell, accused Reid of wanting to throw 150 people out of work in a state where unemployment tops 12 percent.

Reid said during his National Clean Energy Summit 5.0 at the Bellagio resort that he expects NV Energy, Nevada's dominant electric utility, to fight to keep the 557-megawatt plant running. The plant's first two units started operations in the 1960s, and the third started in the 70s.

NV Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Schuricht released a statement calling the plant 55 miles north of Las Vegas a key component of a diverse group of generating plants "that make sense for our customers and ensure reliability and price stability."

NV Energy also makes electricity at seven natural gas-fired plants, 44 renewable projects and one other coal-fired plant near Battle Mountain in northern Nevada.

The publicly traded company said the Reid Gardner facility provides enough electricity to power 335,000 Nevada households, and the company exceeds state requirements for use of electricity produced by renewable energy sources including solar, wind and geothermal sources.

But the plant will lose a customer next year when the California Department of Water Resources ends a part-ownership contract and quits buying power from Reid Gardner.

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission is reviewing the plant's lifespan plan, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency is also considering modifications to its regional particulate emissions rules.

"We operate the Reid Gardner Generating Station in the best interests of our customers, in compliance with all federal and state laws, and in an environmentally responsible manner," the company statement said.

The plant is named for a former energy company employee not related to the senator.

Reid said he believes that despite technological upgrades by the company, the plant pollutes the air, and runoff from coal ash fouls water in the nearby Muddy River, which flows to the Colorado River and the Lake Mead reservoir behind Hoover Dam.

NV Energy spokesman Mark Severts denied that any water from the power plant site makes its way into the Muddy River.

Moapa Paiute Tribal Chairman William Anderson said members of the 320-person tribe and their families complain of respiratory and health problems.

"People more and more are dying every other month," he said. "We have to do something about it."

Local, state and federal health agencies haven't verified the tribe's complaints because sample sizes of health studies are small.

Reid said he expected NV Energy would warn of rate increases if the plant closes.

"There will be a hue and cry," he predicted. "'You can't do that.' 'It will increase your power bill.'"

"But it won't," he said. "They know that."

Bill Corcoran, regional director of the Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal" campaign, told reporters his organization recently submitted to the Nevada Plant a report that found closing the plant would save $59 million for the company and its ratepayers.

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23 Comments

  1. PATRIOTComment by PATRIOT
    August 8, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    The American people would be well advised to pay very close attention to the Democrat attack on coal fired energy production. If the progressives are allowed to reduce or ban the use of coal, electricity costs will skyrocket. It is possible that electricity costs could rise to the point that the average American would not be able to air condition a home. Think about what they are attempting to do with your affordable energy supply. Maybe make us more like the Europeans? Remember when Obama stated the American people would not be able to turn their thermostats to 72 degress whenever they wanted? Harry Reid and all the rest of the progressives should be chased out of the country with pitchforks and torches for this outrage.

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    • VoiceOfReasonComment by VoiceOfReason
      August 8, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

      Returned from a trip to Germany in early July. One of our guides told us that Germany is shutting down all of their nuclear power plants despite the fact that they will not have adequate coal, natural gas, solar, wind, and hydroelectric generating capacity to replace them. They will have to depend on the French to supply the difference–from French nuclear power plants!

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  2. billwvComment by billwv
    August 8, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    Dingy Harry: At it again. The world’s most notorious liar is now focusing on businesses again. Anything to shut down what he wants shut down. No matter that the statistics are not in his favor: “I’m Dingy Harry and you WILL listen to me.” What a ‘blow-hard and windbag’. If he were suited up for it; he could generate electricity. The economy is in enough trouble without Obama’s and Reid’s attacks of coal fired power plants.

    There are a host of reasons that the Senate needs to change parties as to leadership and this is one of them.

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    • VoiceOfReasonComment by VoiceOfReason
      August 8, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

      Isn’t one of Reid’s sons a big investor in some cockamamie Nevada solar power plant that received huge DOE funding?

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    • capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
      August 9, 2012 @ 9:14 am

      harry himlar and his nazi cohorts are waging WAR on the american people and most cant see it.on our everyday freedoms to eat what you want,drink what you want,smoke,gasoline usage and affordability,coal usage for our energy to power our homes,and remember green is communist.

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  3. BillzillaComment by Billzilla
    August 8, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

    Seems to me that Harry Reid makes enough hot air, that they could replace the coal with him. Just kidding of course. But on the serious side; Harry Reid is no joke, he’s as dangerous to this Nation as Obama, he’s a party hack, who’s helped enable Obama to wreck havoc on our Nation. Harry Reid needs to go!

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  4. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    August 8, 2012 @ 2:51 pm

    HArry probably wants to shut down all volcanoes, too.

    After all, they are constantly putting more ‘stuff’ into the atmosphere than all of what mankind is capable of.

    THEN there are the times when a ‘quiet one’ decides to erupt …

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  5. bna42Comment by bna42
    August 8, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

    “Darren Littell, accused Reid of wanting to throw 150 people out of work in a state where unemployment tops 12 percent.”

    I hope the people in Nevada rue the day they elected Reid for his current six-year term. He has been one of the biggest pork-barrel dippers, but now he is attacking their main utility company.

    A recall petition in Nevada would be amusing.

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    Rating: 4.9/5 (15 votes cast)
    • vevaComment by veva
      August 8, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

      A recall vote would probably be welcomed! The sooner, the better. I think the residents know by now, they made a BIG mistake in 2010!

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    • antronfiveComment by antronfive
      August 8, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

      Been boycotting the state ever since they put that complete idiot back in the Senate. Wish everybody would…. Idiots ! Wonder how they like their economy now ?

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    • CarmineComment by Carmine
      August 9, 2012 @ 11:58 am

      The people in Nevada didn’t re-elect Harry Reid. During the 2010 election he was behind by 6% at 10pm, at 8am the next morning he won by 10%. Nevada used electronic voting machines. There were complaints that even before you entered your vote Reid’s name was already checked off. If you can’t figure out what happened . . .

      (go to you tube and search “voting machines rigged”)

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  6. calharComment by calhar
    August 8, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    Does senile Harry realize that “he” is a health risk to the American people.????????

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  7. wannahugComment by wannahug
    August 8, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    Harry Reid should have been “FIRED” yesterday, he is worthless and knows nothing whatsoever what is good for America – he is all for illegal ways to hoard more dollars for the rich such as himself for one, and not at all for the every day hard-working Americans – and NO the Indians won’t get sick from that coal plant nor any other coal plant – or they would have been extinct long time ago LOL! Such lies that idiot has lately – we do NOT need the likes of another imbecile keeping Freedom and Liberties from hard-working Americans! GOD help America!

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  8. thomasjeffersonComment by thomasjefferson
    August 8, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    Harry, your an idiot

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  9. chris3336Comment by chris3336
    August 8, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

    Harry the ho reid is more of a threat than that coal fired power plant.

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  10. antronfiveComment by antronfive
    August 8, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    Boycott Nevada like I’ve been doing. Nevadan’s ought to be ashamed for putting this scum sucking maggot back in power.
    I will never spend another dime in that state. Idiots !

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    • CarmineComment by Carmine
      August 9, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

      Nevadans didn’t put “this scum sucking maggot back in power”. See comment above.

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  11. JDZComment by JDZ
    August 8, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

    The only major job providing industry in the state of West Virginia is coal and over 90% of the electricity generated in West Virginia is from coal fired power plants. The Obama administration, through the EPA cap and trade regulations (done by executive policy changes which bypassed Congress) has given the EPA the right to control carbon emissions as a hazardous emission. The EPA is using this new power to basically kill the coal industry with regard to power generation in this country. The new regulations on carbon emissions is forcing the power companies in West Virginia to begin to close plants or pay outrageous taxes which they will pass on with higher electric rates. This is going to cost West Virginia tens of thousands of jobs at a time when unemployment is already stuck at the highest sustained level then the great depression.

    This administration is a bunch of hypocrites and self serving elected politicians who really do not care about our middle and lower income groups like the coal workers in West Virginia. Harry Reid is at the top of the list of these hypocrites.

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    • middlegroundComment by middleground
      August 8, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

      Look up Chicago Climate Exchange )CCX)and you’ll realize all this is merely a massive wealth transfer scheme with the brokers making billions.

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  12. Larry HuffmanComment by Larry Huffman
    August 8, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    I believe they should shut it down immediately — and pull the power to Las Vegas. “Sorry, we can’t supply any now.”

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  13. freedomfighterComment by freedomfighter
    August 8, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

    Yep, once again Reid bows to the wills of the environmentalists and his boss, instead of sticking with the State and it’s general population, way more than a settlement with 350 souls.
    It would have made much more sense to tell the Company to retrofit, upgrade to standards, and give them 18 to 24 months to comply. During this time, the workers would still have jobs, Nevada would still benefit from the revenue stream, and the needs of Nevadan’s who rely upon that power source would not be pushed into accepting a much more costly delivery by another source.
    Ever since Nobama took office, Reid has been a extension of his powers. I remember a time when Reid would have fought the powers that be to keep the plant operating by making changes. Those times are gone, unless after Nobama looses office, Reid goes back to the once responsible Senator for Nevada, and Nevadan’s we came to like, trust, and re-elect for term after term. Those terms will likely end next round, unless like last time, his name was pre-marked on the electronic ballot.
    It is hard to keep one’s will when they have to operate out of soemone else’s pocket, by and under their rules.
    Reid needs to grow back those parts lost to Nobama and his Administration.

    TAKE OUT THE TRASH IN NOVEMBER

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  14. gramma4freedomComment by gramma4freedom
    August 8, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

    I believe every environmentalist should live in a cave or grass hut. They are a bunch of hypocrites – no drilling, no coal, no nuclear power plants, remove the dams in the west, no logging, no cattle on public lands, save the whales but kill the human babies…but yet they build very big stick houses, use electricity, drive cars, buy clothes etc…shouldn’t be allowed to do so…
    by the way – what is the source of electricity in DC? if it is coal they should turn it off for a week or so…

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  15. Brian in MIComment by Brian in MI
    August 9, 2012 @ 5:24 am

    Reid is a hell of a lot older than that coal-fired plant. And he spews a lot worse pollution. Can’t we shut him down?

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