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Senate Committee Starts Work On Bill Intended To Save Coal Plants

Dave Johnston Plant
Greg Goebel via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

A Wyoming Senate committee has started working on a bill that is intended to slow the closures of coal plants in the state.

It requires utilities to convince the Wyoming Public Service Commission that if they're planning to close a coal plant, that there would indeed be significant cost savings for consumers and not threaten power reliability.

The committee is considering a number of amendments to clarify some things in the bill, but Shannon Anderson of the Powder River Basin Resource Council told the committee that it will be difficult for the PSC and utilities to work within the current bills framework.

"I believe the bill will negatively change the way utilities in our state are regulated in very significant ways and those changes will be passed along in costs and risk to utility customers," said Anderson.

Supporters say the bill is needed to both protect the industry and consumers. They also say without it, efforts to bring carbon capture on-line would be hampered. The committee plans to fine tune and pass the bill on Wednesday.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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