NEW YORK (March 9, 2007) – TXU and the investor groups behind the record-setting buyout of the company announced last month unveiled plans today to seek bids for two new power plants in Texas using technology that will capture heat-trapping carbon dioxide pollution. The move is part of the ongoing effort by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to press the clean up of the company’s portfolio following an unprecedented set of environmental commitments negotiated as part of the buyout deal.
“Carbon capture technology is a critical ingredient in the global warming solution, and something that any firm planning coal investments needs to embrace,” said NRDC President Frances Beinecke. “The proposal today marks another big step toward achieving the goals we negotiated with the buyout team, and a strong signal to Washington and Wall Street about where the smart money in the utility sector is heading.”
NRDC was one of two groups called in by the two buyout firms, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group, to craft a plan that will cut global warming pollution, invest in energy efficiency, and support mandatory national caps on global warming pollution. The two facilities announced today are separate from the three conventional coal-fired plants that remain on the table after the buyers agreed to scrap plans for eight additional plants that TXU had been pursuing. Efforts remain underway on several fronts to ensure that any coal plants are built to the highest environmental standards possible.
NRDC is also working with the new company to insure maximum investment in energy savings for TXU customers in order to reduce the need for new plants and help reduce consumer electric bills, starting with a promise of $400 million over the next five years to help TXU customers lighten their electric load.
“We are working with the TXU buyers every day to help make sure the company achieves the full promise of its commitments,” said David Hawkins, a former top EPA official now in charge of NRDC’s Climate Center, who played a pivotal role in shaping the environmental agreement.