Navarro Generating has told Corsicana city officials that it intends to withdraw its air permit application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, according to Mayor Chuck McClanahan.
As of Monday afternoon, no action had yet been taken, according to Andrea Morrow, spokeswoman for TCEQ.
McClanahan issued a letter by e-mail Monday afternoon, announcing the company’s decision and chastising opponents of the power plant for instilling fear without a scientific basis for their concerns.
“We asked them if they’d keep us in the loop because they’ve been a little shaky last week in talks about what to do,” McClanahan explained. “They said ‘that’s it, we’re going to pull the permit and contact TCEQ tomorrow.’”
In his letter, McClanahan puts the blame securely on the shoulders of people who opposed the plant, which he said would have brought hundreds of millions of dollars in development and jobs to the community through the construction of the plant.
One of the more outspoken opponents of the plant, Vicky Prater, said she was surprised by the plant’s decision. However, she said that while her group was vocal and organized, it wasn’t the only opponent of the plants. In other words: It wasn’t just their fault.
“We don’t want the public relations to land totally on our backs, because we’re not responsible,” she said. “Hundreds of letters were sent to the TCEQ concerning this air permit. COPPS for Clean Air does not represent everyone who sent in protest letters against that air permit.”
McClanahan said the company explained that the price of natural gas wasn’t ideal for the project, but it would make more economic sense if the company didn’t have to fight a long contested battle for the permit.
Officials with Navarro Generating did not return phone calls as of Monday afternoon to confirm the report.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com
McClanahan issues letter by e-mail Monday afternoon
As promised, I will keep interested individuals informed be it good or bad news. Navarro Generating, LLC will be notifying TCEQ that it intends to withdraw the pending air permit for the proposed power plant in Navarro County. The company has spent several million dollars in development expense including the preparation of the permit. If the permit had not been contested, the project development would be moving forward. The developers of the power plant attempted to address the opposition’s concerns and proposed several million dollars in community projects to avoid the expense and duration of a contested permit. That effort was flatly rejected; therefore, the added expense of a contested permit made the project too costly at this time. COPPS and opponents to the plant have cost the citizens of Navarro Countya huge leap forward in economic development.
A number of similar projects are all around. Freestone County has one project operating and one project pending, Anderson Countyhas an energy project under construction, and of course Ennis has enjoyed a power plant for ten years. Temple and Bell Countyjust had the pleasure of announcing Panda Power Funds would begin construction of a 758 Megawatt plant. According to an economic impact analysis conducted by Impact Data Source of Austin, Texas, the construction and ongoing operation of the plant is expected to contribute up to $1.6 billion into the area's economy during construction and the plant's first 10 years of operation. Estimated 700-800 personnel will be employed to construct the Temple power plant at peak construction.During operations, the generating station will create an estimated 27 skilled jobs to operate the facility and 45 indirect jobs within the community to support the plant. Expected to impact the area in a positive way, the project was welcomed.
Navarro Generatingintends to hold the option on the land with the intent to apply for another type of gas fired plant at this site. The new plant may have different economics which would allow the project to proceed. It is my request that if a new plant is proposed, the community will make educated decisions without fear, based on science and welcome it with open arms, like Temple and others. In addition, I hope that Navarro Generating will consider our community for future projects.
Chuck McClanahan, Mayor
July 30, 2012