August 26, 2011
Mr. Wallace Evans, Operating Permits Supervisor
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
619 E. Ship Creek Avenue Suite 249
Anchorage, AK 99501
Dear Mr. Evans:
The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing to express its support for the renewal of the Air Quality Control Operating Permit No. AQ0173TVP02 for the Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) Healy Power Plant.
RDC is a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism and fisheries industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native Corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.
The Healy Clean Coal Plant (HCCP) is a 50-megawatt coal-fired plant that would supply electricity to Interior Alaska. The plant features new technology and emission controls, enabling it to be one of the cleanest burning power plants in Alaska. HCCP went through a full permitting process in the late 1990s, and during startup operations, met or exceeded all environmental performance standards.
Extensive infrastructure, including a coal mine in the proximity, transmission lines, and the existing plant are already in place, and the project is ready to move forward with no additional environmental impact. In addition, HCCP was designed to burn low-grade coal that is currently being mined and moved aside to access higher-grade coal in demand by other consumers. Without HCCP in operation, this coal is going to waste.
In consideration of current oil prices, HCCP has the ability to reduce GVEA members’ electricity bills by 20%. This is welcome relief in Interior Alaska, where temperatures dip well below zero for weeks on end and energy prices soar. It is estimated that GVEA members are purchasing power at three times the cost of the national average. In addition to lowering energy costs, HCCP operations would create a number of jobs for Interior residents.
In conclusion, RDC strongly supports the renewal of GVEA’s operational permit for the Healy Clean Coal Plant.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important issue.
Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.
cc: Senator Mark Begich
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Congressman Don Young
EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran
ADEC Commissioner Larry Hartig
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