Friday, April 19, 2013
Save the Ozarks hired Heber Springs attorney Richard Mays to represent the new citizen group in opposing a new 48-mile power line being proposed by the Southwest Electric Power Company (SWEPCO).
Mays successfully represented Sierra Club and Audubon in challenging the new Turk coal-fired plant in Southern Arkansas. Mays argued that the Turk plant wasn’t needed because other natural gas fired generation was available to meet customers’ needs, and SWEPCO had not adequately considered alternatives.
SWEPCO continued building the Turk plant anyhow for sales of electricity outside of Arkansas, but in a settlement with Sierra Club and Audubon in December 2011, SWEPCO agreed to shut down a dirty coal plant upwind of Arkansas in Northeastern Texas, and provide 400 megawatts of new clean energy for the region. The settlement also put aside $10 million for land conservation and energy-efficiency advocacy, and limits development of additional plants and transmission lines.
Save the Ozarks representative Pat Costner said Mays is expected to file a petition to intervene in the case before the Arkansas Public Service Commission on Monday. Mays will also file a petition to extend the deadline to intervene to 90 day. The original deadline is May 2.
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