Texas water board considers permit for coal plant

June 15, 2011 3:46:18 AM PDT
A Texas agency that oversees crucial parts of the state's water supply will consider awarding a water permit to a proposed coal-fired power plant. The Lower Colorado River Authority on Wednesday will discuss and may vote on the request by the White Stallion Energy Center.

The authority says the request for 25,400 acres of water annually won't affect Central Texas lakes after a new reservoir is built. It says the multimillion-dollar contract will benefit future projects -- but wants $55 million up front and $250,000 annually once the plant is built.

Opponents say the contract would take precious water away from farmers in the sometimes-arid region, especially during droughts.

Texas has 19 operating coal-fired plants, most in the nation. Nine new plants have been permitted, and two have started construction.

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