OPPOSITION: Senator Harry Reid (D-NV); Stop Toquop; Nevadans for Clean Affordable Reliable Energy; Sierra Club; Nevada Conservation League; Friends of Nevada Wilderness; Nevada Clean Energy Campaign; and Western Resource Advocates.
BACKGROUND: The Toquop facility was proposed in 2003 as a 1,100 megawatt natural gas power plant. The developer determined to substitute coal in late 2006. In early 2007 it proposed constructing a 750 megawatt facility at an estimated construction cost of $1.3 billion. However, local citizens and environmental groups opposed the project due to the particulate and CO2 emissions, and enlisted Senator Harry Reid to fight the project. In August, the developer applied for a construction permit. In October, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a draft environmental impact statement (EIS). In December, the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a draft air permit.
In March 2008, Sierra Club, local officials, and others submitted comments attacking the draft permit and EIS. In November, Sierra Club demanded that DEP set CO2 emission limits in the permit. In April 2009, the developer reaffirmed its intentions to move forward. However, by March 2010, no permits had been issued. On March 22, the developer held a joint news conference with Sen. Reid and the local mayor to announce the construction of a $1.45 billion gas and photovoltaic plant, with groundbreaking scheduled for 2011. The developer stated that the environmental impact of the coal plant was “probably the single most important factor” in the decision to return to the original gas configuration.
LAST UPDATED: November 29, 2010