Final arguments are scheduled today before the Arkansas PSC about putting a pollution-belching coal-fired SWEPCO generating plant hard by one of the state's most valuable natural areas.
Good timing then, for a New York Times story today about the broader coalitions that are fighting coal plants. Not just the old-fashioned environmentalists, but many others. This could just as easily have been written about the Arkansas case, with a few small edits:
An increasingly vocal, potent and widespread anti-coal movement is developing here. Environmental groups that have long opposed new power plants are being joined by ranchers, farmers, retired homeowners, ski resort operators and even religious groups.
Activists say the increasing diversity of these coalitions is making them more effective.
“You're seeing a convergence of people who previously never worked together or even talked to each other,” said Anne Hedges, program director of the Montana Environmental Information Center, which is spearheading three lawsuits aimed at blocking construction of the power plant near Great Falls. “They're saying these coal plants don't make any sense, whether from an economic or environmental or property-rights standpoint.”
Also in the Times, some more valuable gudiance for Arkansas officials about a better course of action on coal plants (which the PSC staff seems in a powerful hurry to approve, to the point they've apologized for the power company's disdain for the environment in coal operations all over the country):
A Kansas regulator has turned down a permit for a large coal-fired power plant solely because of the global warming gases it would emit.