Proposal for a giant coal-fired plant near Ely, Nevada draws protest

A giant coal-fired power plant is planned at Ely, Nevada (there is no coal in the area only clear air).

Story in the Las Vegas Sun. Coal-fired plant near Ely draws protest. By Phoebe Sweet.

Here is a story from the Billings Gazette in Montana about where the coal will come from. Wyoming coal planned for Nevada power plant. By The Associated Press

“KT” who posts to this blog was one of the first to sniff this out.







  1. kt Avatar

    Not only will this be a tremendous blight on the air of the Great Basin and Utah, and Idaho donwwinders – it also relies on a Ground Water “Mining” scheme for water for the mercury-spewing Coal Plant.

    It almost seems to me like the power plant people want to pollute some of the cleanest air in the country so that we have no reference for what clean air vistas look like.

    In the articel ralph links to, notice how they are trying to tie a coal plant to “renewable” energy by claiming that new powerlines built to support the coal plant will open the door for wind energy along their route. This so-called “renewable” energy part will NOT be a few windmills on the cheatgrassed, flat Snake River Plain – what this is linked to is massive wind farm development on top of high mountain ranges and ridges – with predictable devastating impacts to sage grouse and other native species – as well as many migrating birds. Plus, the mountain top wind facility roading, dynamiting, etc. essentially makes just the earth-scarring impacts alone of placing a wind facility in remote areas akin to hard rock mining in many ways.

    But back to the Water Mining part of this. The Public Info Mailout for the “Ely Energy Center” shows for the Preferred Action a Lages Station “Groundwater Source” – i. e. Water Mining right on the Elko-White Pine County line, 30 miles north of the power plant site. Anyone who has driven south on Highway 93 can observe that Lages Jct. is not exactly gushing excess water! A Water Line heads north to there. Plus, the map also shows a “Butte Valley Well Field”.

    BLM has a bit of Info on its Web site – but NO MAP -likely on purpose so that the public can not see the water pipeline creeping north, and all the massive development this would entail.

    The development of the ground water mining, and utility infrastructure for this Ely Coal plant will be facilitated by provisions of the White Pine quid pro quo “wilderness” Bill that Harry Reid and John Ensign attached as a Rider to the last Bill of the 2006 Congress. There are provisions in the Bill that result in sale of over 45,000 acres of public lands, with several other thousand acres for industrial development, and so public land sale proceeds can go to pay for BLM envtl analyses to facilitate industrial energy infrastructure.

    Yep, a Wilderness Bill will end up facilitating this destruction. And as many leanred with the Harry Reid Lincoln County quid pro quo wilderness Bill, be very, very fearful of water pipelines in Nevada …

    And Harry Reid has always like Mining, and ths Project involves Groundwater Mining, and down the road Mining-like mountain range gashing for industrial wind farms in remote wild land areas …

    And all this because of Las Vegas greed for cheap power, (following on the heels of its water greed that extended aquifer-sucking pipelines into Lincoln and White Pine County in the Reid’s Lincoln County Bill).

    AND also – some of the same folks that are so OUTRAGED over Bush’s 2007 budget proposal to sell off public lands were cheerleaders and enablers of the Harry Reid Nevada Bills that will result in Lincoln and White Pine Counties alone, in privatization of around 150,000 acres of public land. And the sell-off of this public land will facilitate the energy development that will destroy any sense of wildness here.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    If you comment on this (Valentine’s Day is the due date), please ask them to explain the effects of pollutants released on Idaho and Utah (downwind from the bastards!)

  3. Jean Bryant Avatar
    Jean Bryant

    I presently live in Las vegas. I also plan to move to Ely bringing my entire family in the summer of this year. I am in complete agreement regarding your article above and the upcoming disaster planned by the State of Nevada. I am concerned that when I buy a home, settle in and become an contributing citizen, that Ely will soon become another coal minning Kentucky, or over population crime infested Las Vegas or dry as a old bone as Las Vegas will become. All because of the greed of so few.
    So much for God’s country.

  4. David Willes Avatar
    David Willes

    This plant will produce 330 pounds of Mercury per year.
    And use 2.5 million galions per year so no matter what Vegas will still take our water. You put here the air no longer be clear.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan