March 02, 2010

By Jennifer Cassel

On April 19, 2010, the Environmental Defense Fund (“EDF”) and Tenaska, Inc., announced that they had reached an agreement under which EDF agreed not to oppose a 600 megawatt coal-fired power plant Tenaska proposes to construct near Sweetwater, Texas, in exchange for Tenaska’s promise to capture and sequester 85% of the estimated 7.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (“CO2”) the plant will produce each year, as well as reduce water use.  Tenaska will arrange for the transport and injection of the captured CO2 into the Permian Basin oil fields, to be used for enhanced oil recovery.  EDF, in turn, will withdraw from a contested case hearing on the air quality permit for the proposed plant, called the Trailblazer Energy Center, and will not attempt to delay the granting of the air quality permit or any future air quality permits for the plant.  The proposed plant has not yet received all required approvals, however, and other organizations may oppose it.  If the plant receives all required approvals, construction will begin in 2011 and operation is expected to start in 2016.

A press release about the agreement is available at