ELY ENERGY CENTER
Proposed for the same area as the White Pine plant, the Ely Energy Center would involve the leasing and sale of more than 3,000 acres of public lands, including 1,000 acres for a landfill where combustion byproducts and material collected from pollution-control equipment would be stored. The plant would annually emit 10.6 million tons of CO2 and drain at least 8,000 acre-feet of water from the Steptoe Valley, and it has the potential to affect listed species including the desert tortoise, southwestern willow flycatcher, Big Spring spinedace, White River springfish, and Ute ladies’ tresses.
The Center submitted comments in April 2009 discussing the plant’s impacts, including threats to local species, groundwater, and air quality, as well as to the global climate. Ely’s proponent, NV Energy, recently announced its indefinite postponement of the plant’s construction but will continue plans for transmission-line construction in the same area. The Center will oppose the Bureau’s failure to consider the environmental consequences of this plant through a legal challenge to the Ely resource-management plan. If the Bureau continues to push this project, we’ll challenge its failure to consider the cumulative impacts of allowing construction of this and other new coal-fired power plants in the region.