Oklahomans Weigh in on Proposed Plants

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Residents north of the Red River are expressing their concerns about the proposed coal-burning power plants in Texas. Some Oklahomans fear emissions from TXU's proposed power plants will have negative effects of their air quality.

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality officials say they weren't informed about TXU's plan until after Texas Governor Rick Perry's executive order was issued.

The CORE group, citizens organizing for resources and environment, held a forum on the SOSU campus Thursday night. Different speakers gave presentations on possible effects of the plants on the environment.

They presented information about levels of mercury in the air and the water supply. They also spoke on levels of carbon dioxide in the air. There are currently no federal regulations on limits of carbon dioxide in the air and those gases from the plants could contribute to global warming.

Oklahoma state senator Jay Pay Gumm spoke on the need for Oklahomans and Texans to work together to investigate the impact of coal-burning plants.

"Emissions from a coal-fired power plant will not pay respect to state lines," said State Sen. Gumm, a democrat from Durant.

"It will cross those state lines with prevalent southerly breezes and we want to make sure that even we're not getting any of the electrical benefits out of this, the waste products that come from it aren't harmful to Oklahoma's future, Oklahoma's economy, Oklahoma's sporting heritages."

Members of ODEQ are slated to participate in the Texas administrative hearings in June. They are scheduled to present their case on the proposed power plants.

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