Death of the 99-year-old Capitol Hill Coal Power Plant
Photo Credit: Jocelyn Augustino
In an effort to reduce its’ carbon footprint, Congress plans on closing the only coal-burning power plant in the District of Columbia, which supplies much of the energy used at the congressional buildings. The Capitol Power Plant has been running for 99 years on coal and is thought to have caused breathing problems experienced by residents and workers in the area. The release of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter also leads to decreasing air quality in the area. The power plant will be making a complete switch to natural gas, and residents that live near Capitol Hill support this move to a cleaner energy and want the exchange to happen quickly.
The leading architect of the congressional buildings argues that the natural gas pipelines need updating and until then, coal power will have to be the back up. The Capitol buildings will continue to depend on coal electricity, however, as long as they use electricity from the local utility company, which uses coal as an energy source.
Along with switching to natural gas, the Capitol continues to exchange old light bulbs with compact fluorescents, decrease its paper use and drive more fuel-efficient vehicles as a model for the rest of the country. Nancy Pelosi, a democrat from California and Speaker of the House, along with Harry Reid, a democrat from Nevada and the Senate Majority Leader, have pushed for a few years now to make Capitol Hill more environmentally friendly and the closing of the coal-powered Capitol Power Plant solidifies their efforts.
Check out the full article at MSNBC