RMP On Line Archive

November 2, 2015

Sustainable electric service needs facts and sound engineering

Rocky Mountain Power has a long and award-winning record of excellent compliance with state and federal environmental laws. That’s why it’s troubling to see the unfounded and distorted claims of HEAL Utah and Sierra Club, two groups whose stated aims are to “pick a fight” with the company and to immediately stop the use of coal to generate electricity – regardless of the cost to consumers or the impact to electric system reliability.

The company has dealt for many years with threats and actual lawsuits by these organizations. But recent statements and tactics by these groups are particularly objectionable in how they selectively use data to make misleading and, in some cases, false claims.

These groups have used public information, reported by Rocky Mountain Power to its regulatory agencies, and selectively edited the data into supposed reports. Actually, these are elaborate opinion pieces with no more integrity than a typical political smear campaign. These so-called reports or investigations are self-published and the subject of news releases, which generate predictable headlines.

Allegations that the proactive steps the company has taken at the Huntington power plant were done without permits is simply false. Many of the conclusions they claim from company information or studies are not supported by the information and studies themselves. Any reasonable reading of these independent reports shows the characterizations of Sierra Club and HEAL Utah to be a blatant misrepresentation of facts and conclusions.

Rocky Mountain Power deals with many strident and passionate voices in the course of its business. Some of them, like Sierra Club and HEAL Utah, want the use of coal to generate electricity stopped now; at any cost. Others are on the opposite side, urging the company to maintain its coal power plants indefinitely, critical of investments in new emission controls and renewable sources of electricity. Both sides rely on dire claims intended to frighten and influence the public in what is essentially a political argument.

Safe, reliable electricity is one of our most essential public services. Its success will be found in sound engineering, not a political harangue. Our gradual, prudent transition to employ more natural gas, wind and other renewable resources has been underway for more than 15 years. We will continue to operate existing coal resources while it is in the best interests of our customers.

Rocky Mountain Power will continue to work closely with the agencies that regulate our society’s standards for the environment, for fair energy prices and an electric system that is safe and reliable.

These institutions do difficult, complex work. And while the debate is often intense, facts still matter. Rocky Mountain Power works diligently to comply with state and federal laws for care of the environment. As we find better ways to reduce environmental impacts, we’ll make the needed changes to continue to improve our air and water, and ensure consumers have the electricity they need.

— Dave Eskelsen, Rocky Mountain Power External Communications

Rocky Mountain Power joined the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to further our commitment to a cleaner energy future.

Blundell Geothermal Plant, near Milford, Utah, was the first geothermal electric plant outside of California when it came on-line in 1984.

Rocky Mountain Power – a division of PacifiCorp – purchases the output of Spanish Fork Wind Park 2, located near the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon in Utah.
PDF Utah Conservation & Respect Report
PDF PacifiCorp Wind Energy Resources

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