York, PA Electric Plant to Drop Coal, Burn Only Marcellus Gas

Something momentous has just happened. The loons at the Sierra Club, who once loved natural gas until they began irrationally hating it, have just admitted to the world that burning natural gas to produce electricity is A.O.K. with them. Brunner Island Power Plant is located in York County, PA, straddling Lancaster County. It is a huge, 1,490 megawatt coal-fired electric generating plant, and has been the target of environmentalists for years. In February 2017, MDN told you that the new owner of the plant is investing $100 million to retrofit the plant so it can, at least part of the time, burn Marcellus Shale gas (see York County, PA Electric Plant Begins Using NatGas as Fuel). Talen Energy (the new owner) said it “plans to burn little or no coal until 2019 as part of a ‘site evaluation.’” Meaning almost all (perhaps all) of the fuel powering the plant at this point is Marcellus Shale gas. Which is why we’re interested in the plant and what happens to it. However, it appears they still burn coal from time to time. Talen has just signed to settle a lawsuit brought by the odious Sierra Club. The terms of the settlement say they will burn only Marcellus gas during “peak ozone season”–from May 1 through Sept. 30–starting in 2023. Talen will phase out coal completely by 2028. In other words, the Sierra Club, contrary to its own “end natural gas” campaign, has just signed a settlement admitting they think natural gas is far better for the environment than coal. Actions speak louder than words…

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