Beyond Coal Texas targets Big Brown Plant - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Beyond Coal Texas targets Big Brown Plant

Posted:
FAIRFIELD -

A coal power plant in Texas is next on one organizations list to be shut down.

The Sierra Club is running a campaign called Beyond Coal Texas. It's a national effort to phase out the mining use and export of coal. These plants will then be replaced with renewable energy sources. 

"The goal of our campaign is to get the owner of the Big Brown Plant and other plants across Texas to phase out those types of plants in the upcoming years," said Al Armendariz, Senior Campaign Manager of Beyond Coal Texas.

The Big Brown Plant in Fairfield has helped the town since its coming in 1971. 

"It is extremely important to the Fairfield economy," said Mayor Roy W. Hill. Hill has seen the plant come to town and has watched Fairfield grow because of it. 

"If it had not been for that job base and quality for those people that they sent here, we wouldn't be growing, they have been a huge part to this community," said Hill. 

Beyond Coal Texas has filed suits with federal court because they believe the plant is violating EPA regulations. 

Luminant Energy, one of the largest power generators in the state oversees the plant, says the campaign has no reason to file suit.

"We are meeting and out performing all state and federal environment laws and rules and regulations. Not only are we compiling, we are well below our permanent levels," said spokeswoman Ashley Barrie.

Another big concern about the power plant are the health risks it causes to the community. A study conducted by Dr. John H. Keller, Jr., a long-time local doctor in Fairfield analyzed everything from cancer to asthma. In his conclusion, he found nothing has changed.

"He has seen no increase from the power plant and he was here the entire time up until last year, and was a practicing physician," said Hill.

The campaign has received $50 million from the Bloomberg Foundation to help with this action.

Currently, the suit is going through court.

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