Local Environmental Group Wants New Rules for Rocky Mountain Power

Traffic signs encourage Utahns to limit driving in early 2013
Traffic signs encourage Utahns to limit driving in early 2013

Local environmental group HEAL Utah is launching a campaign against Rocky Mountain Power, saying the utilities giant is purposefully misleading Utahns when they claim to be making clean air a priority.

“It’s time we learned the truth about Rocky Mountain Power,”said Christopher Thomas, HEAL’s executive director. “They’re the dirtiest utility in the West and they are actively resisting efforts to dramatically cut coal plant pollution with proven technologies that would help us all breathe easier.”

HEAL has launched a new website called TrueBlueSky.org, which features a video they say exposes the truth about Rocky Mountain Power. Featuring voiceover work by Phil Riesen, former KSL anchorman and Utah State Representative, the video compares Rocky Mountain Power to other utility companies around the country, claiming that while the national average for percentage of coal fired power production at utility companies is 40 percent, Rocky Mountain Power uses around 65 percent. The video also slams Rocky Mountain Power for announcing that they have no plans to build any renewable energy facilities in the next 10 years, despite claiming on their website that renewable energy is high-priority.

The issue is stemming from a proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency, which would require Rocky Mountain Power to install state-of-the-art pollution control technologies at eight of its coal power units in Wyoming. Under the proposal, the utility company will have to install Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technologies to limit emissions of nitrous oxides. According to HEAL Utah’s press release, “SCR is the best available pollution control for NOx and is used at over 200 coal plants across the country.”

The EPA will make their final decision on the new rule on August 26, and HEAL Utah is hoping Utahns will push the EPA to vote in favor. On the website, they’ve got an automatic petition-signing tool that will send signatures to the agency.

“We want Rocky Mountain Power to get the message, literally, that power customers care about the impact their dirty power system has on our Western way of life, even if utility executives do not.”

A call to Rocky Mountain Power for comment was not immediately returned.

Here’s the video HEAL Utah has produced:

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