Contact: Amelia Shenstone, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 339-223-0536
Newly Announced Retirements and Gas Conversions Will Protect Alabamians’ Health and Wallets
August 1, 2014 –SACE applauds Alabama Power’s decision, announced today, to retire two older units at Plant Gorgas in northeast Alabama, as well as to convert Plant Greene County and some boilers at Plant Barry in Mobile to burn natural gas.
SACE Executive Director Dr. Stephen A. Smith responds to the announcement:
“We believe phasing out these coal boilers is the right step both to keep rates low and to protect our environmental health. The two units being shuttered at Plant Gorgas are over 60 years old. They don’t have modern pollution controls to prevent mercury, sulfur, and other toxics from getting in our air and water. In fact, they are so uneconomical to run that Alabama Power barely ever fired them up; now, customers won’t have to pay to keep these antiquated units on the system when cheaper, cleaner alternatives are available.
“Moving away from coal is also a responsible economic decision for the units at Plant Barry and Greene County and will reduce the amount of air and water pollution in the areas around those plants. Alabama has historically leaned heavily on coal for half to two-thirds of its power, and this rebalancing toward natural gas increases the state’s fuel diversity. We trust that Alabama Power will responsibly remediate legacy coal ash impoundments at these sites to ensure they are properly closed and removed from waterways.
“We are also sensitive to the workers who may be affected by the changing power generation industry. We are confident the company is making every effort to provide for workers in a fair and responsible manner.”
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create climate change solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org