Dems: ‘Switch Capitol Power Plant from Coal to Natural Gas’

  • Published on February 26th, 2009

capitol power plant

Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid released a letter asking the Capitol Architect to switch the Capitol Power Plant from coal to 100 percent natural gas by the end of 2009.

The switch to natural gas will allow the CPP to dramatically reduce carbon and criteria pollutant emissions, eliminating more than 95 percent of sulfur oxides and at least 50 percent of carbon monoxide.


Pelosi and Reid’s letter comes just three days before more than 2,500 people from across the country will converge at the power plant for the biggest civil disobedience on climate issues in U.S. history.

Noting that the Capitol Power Plant continues to be the number one source of air pollution and carbon emissions in the District of Columbia, the Congressional leaders thanked the Capitol Architect for the work they had done on increasing efficiency at CPP but that, “more must be done to dramatically reduce plant emissions and the CPP’s impact.”

“Since there are not projected to be any economical or feasible technologies to reduce coal-burning emissions soon,” Pelosi and Reid write in the letter, “there are several steps you should take in the short term to reduce the amount of coal burned at the plant while preparing for a conversion to cleaner burning natural gas.”

Reid and Pelosi went on to say that they had received mixed messages about the cost of retrofitting the entire plant and that they would like to see retrofitting at least one of the coal boilers as early as this summer, and the remaining boiler by the end of the year.

The Capitol Power Plant will be the location for a planned act of civil disobedience on Monday. And beginning tomorrow 10,000 youth climate leaders will descend on Washington D.C. for an unrelated event political action called Power Shift 09. Though the Capitol Power Plant protest and Power Shift are officially unaffiliated, there will certainly be some overlap.

>>Read an interview with Power Shift 09 organizer, Jessy Tolkan

Image: CC licensed by flickr user jeveleth

About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.


  • Down the road, buildings also can become power plants, which leads them to being both self-sufficient and profitable via selling surplus, and those are what the power companies fear as this can reduce electricity cost considerably in the region as well, better still, it can give a building industry a boost at the same time, according to the research.

    With the promsing digital revolution, smart grid, the controversial, unpopular clean coal, nuclea energy issues are not so sigtnificant any longer, I think.

  • The protesters should go to New York City and stand in the record March snow so they can rethink their belief in junk science. The current warming trend began in 1800 at the end of the Little Ice Age. This was long before automobiles or coal-powered electric plants spewed carbon into the air. Global warming is a religion, not science.

  • I hope and pray that these young adults do not get used like pawns in this gathering.The cause for which they are comitted to is a GREAT ONE. They have a VOICE in the White House now that has done more for there cause in very short time than any preseident in History. So I would think that it would be a GREAT IDEA if they went there to CELEBRATE the CAUSE and the Movement towards a MUCH CLEANER "PLANET EARTH". DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP and USED LIKE PAWNS by those who just want trouble. The problem was not created overnight and it will not go away overnight BE SMART and be PATIENT !!!

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