PHOENIX, Arizona, May 19 (TNSper) -- The Sierra Club issued the following news release on May 18, 2023:
On Thursday morning at 10 a.m., Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter, along with renewable energy advocates, delivered a gift basket along with a petition signed by over 1000 people calling on new SRP CEO, Jim Pratt, to retire coal plants and plan for a 100% clean energy future - citing the People's Energy Plan.
"Arizona has faced record-breaking temperatures and heat deaths, larger wildfires, long-term drought and terrible air pollution for decades," said Sierra Club executive director, Sandy Bahr. "Instead of doubling down on fossil fuels as SRP continues to do, the People's Energy Plan underscores how SRP can and should be a leader among Arizona's utilities in developing clean, renewable energy, transitioning away from reliance on coal and gas which is critical."
Salt River Project (SRP), Arizona's second largest electric utility, is currently deciding the fate of Arizona's water and power. SRP could lock in decades of pollution and expensive gas that will exacerbate our water and the climate crisis, all without providing the kind of transparency and accountability we expect from a public power entity. According to this recent Energy Innovation analysis, power from SRP's Coronado coal plant is more than twice as expensive as replacing it with local solar projects.
Since SRP adopted its 2035 sustainability plan in 2019, it has proposed significant increases in fossil gas plants, including at the Coolidge, Agua Fria, and Desert Basin generating stations, and more recently at the Copper Crossing solar facility. While promising emissions reductions and community engagement, SRP is instead delivering a lack of transparency and further reliance on dirty fossil fuels, especially fossil gas. SRP recently scored an F in The Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges, a report that examines utilities' performance on retiring existing coal plants by 2030, terminating plans to build new gas plants, and building clean energy.
The People's Energy Plan was a culmination of direct feedback from everyday hardworking people, community leaders, and stakeholders who have strongly voiced what they would like to see from SRP and modeled by Strategen. It provides analysis recommending that the utility:
* Avoid or cease expenditures on gas units
* Reassess dates for retirement of or exit from coal-fired generating facilities
* Continue investing in and supporting demand side (energy efficiency) resources
* Set meaningful carbon reduction targets
* Explore all options and incentives available through the Inflation Reduction Act
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Original text here: https://www.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2023/05/sierra-club-delivers-welcome-basket-salt-river-project-s-new-ceo