Canary in a Coal Mine

On November 16, which musta been a real slow news day, we mentioned how TXU was restarting its 575-megawatt Unit 2 at the Big Brown coal-fired power station in Freestone County, which is about 90 miles southeast of Dallas. It had been shut down a few days earlier because of a boiler tube leak. Well, Reuters just moved a story saying that TXU was once more shutting down Big Brown--because, ya know, of that damned boiler tube again. Should be out of commission for at least a week. TXU just can't catch a break, seems like.

And if you're not yet sick of reading about how mad Mayor Laura Miller is at TXU for wanting to spend $10 billion on 11 new coal-fired power plants in the state, there's yet another story about the "clean-air uproar," this time in the latest issue of U.S. News & World Report, which has a story headlined "A Texas Mess Over Coal." Nothing terribly new there, save for the nice picture of the mayor--and this quote from TXU spokesperson Kimberly Morgan, who offers the "25 million reasons why" defense. "If demand was not there, we wouldn't be building these power plants," she tells the newsmag. "Our customers in Texas enjoy their air conditioning, enjoy their big homes." Is that the best way to fire up support? --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky