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Senate Committee Strips Coal-Fired Plant Bill

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A state senate committee took unique action Thursday on a bill supported by Avista and two other utility companies in Washington. The Senate’s Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee stripped the bill of all its language and voted to pass the bill’s title. It suggests the committee supported the idea but wanted an overhaul on the language.

Bruce Howard is Avista’s Director of Environmental Affairs.

Howard: “It would allow Washington utilities to acquire additional ownership interest in coal plants, to really facilitate early closure.”

Additional ownership could authorize utilities to close coal-fired power plants in the future. But, the Sierra Club says utilities could have bought more coal but wait up to ten years to start the facility closure process.

It’s neither here nor there for now, since the committee approved only the title: “This act shall be known as the Washington state coal generation retirement program."

The rules committee will decide if it gets a full floor vote.

Copyright 2015 Spokane Public Radio

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