L.A. Considers Buying Piece of Proposed Utah Power Facility

L.A. Considers Buying Piece of Proposed Utah Power Facility

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John Hollenhorst reporting The City of Los Angeles has come under attack for something it may do in Utah.

L.A. is considering buying a piece of a proposed new power facility near Delta.

Critics say the question is whether Utah's air quality should be degraded to provide electricity for Southern Californians.

But power planners say the impact on air will be minimal, and there would be big benefits for Utah.

The proposal is to build a third unit, an additional 900 megawatts of power generation at the Intermountain Power Plant near Delta.

California already takes nearly all the power from the two existing units at I.P.P.

Now the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is studying a plan with Utah agencies...which might involve L.A. buying into the third unit.

They're facing criticism from environmentalists at home and in Utah.

Kathy Van Dame/Wasatch Clean Air Coalition: We can't make decisions regarding what LA does. And LA is making decisions about our water quality and our air quality and the quality of our visibility and our future tourism, back in LA."

But power planners say no decisions have been made yet.... but LA is considering buying only about one-ninth of the new unit's output. And they say Utah would benefit economically.

Doug Hunter/Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems: "And this plant, if it were to be built, could possibly manufacture those kilowatts at a lower price which would benefit the economy of Utah as well, the coal mines and employment, we would increase the employment in the area also."

He says the pollution emissions form the new unit would be significantly less than from the existing units. But he stresses that no final decisions have been made. The earliest the unit could be in operation is the year 2010.

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