In the closing days of Washington’s 2017 legislative session, as negotiators worked to finalize a two-year budget, an old zombie made an unwelcome appearance. Buried in the middle of the budget bill was a new tax break which would grease the wheels for Canadian company Transalta to convert its Centralia coal plant to burn fossil fuel gas instead. Ten years ago, this same company agreed to shut down the fossil fuel plant by 2025, but the proposed tax break would extend the life of the plant by converting it to gas.
Investing in new infrastructure to keep Washington dependent on fossil fuels would be the wrong direction for our state—we need to continue moving energetically towards a 100% clean energy future. Fortunately, Governor Inslee vetoed Transalta’s proposed fossil fuel subsidy, But even after the Governor’s veto, Transalta has indicated that the company still intends to follow through with its plans to build a new fossil fuel gas plant in Centralia.
Join us in saying NO to this unacceptable plan.
If we want to maintain a livable planet, Washington must say no to new gas infrastructure and stop believing the industry’s false claims that gas is a clean solution. Fossil fuel gas, which the industry calls “natural gas,” is made up of mostly methane--like carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. But methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas, warming the planet about 86 times as much as carbon dioxide in the first few decades after it is released. Often misperceived as cleaner than coal, research indicates that massive methane leaks can result in emissions that are every bit as bad as coal.
Furthermore, much of the gas that is used in power plants come from fracking. Fracking has resulted in major public health concerns for local communities across the U.S., such as water contamination, air pollution, and even small earthquakes.
The simple truth is, we don’t need to build more facilities that burn gas or any other fossil fuel. Once thought of as a “bridge fuel,” new gas-fired plants are not necessary to maintain a safe, affordable, and clean electric grid.
Clean energy alternatives are all around us. Not only do we have abundant wind and solar, but there are also other non-fossil fuel gas sources in Washington, such as biogas emitted from landfills, dairies, and wastewater treatment plants. Clean energy solutions are here to stay, and they’re going to clean up our air, save us money, support family-wage jobs, and help avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.
Our communities are already at risk. We can do better. We can do 100% clean.
Join us in telling Transalta to stay out of our backyards!