Plans for coal plants in Texas, Kansas fueling opposition from all sides

As U.S. utilities try to keep pace with the energy-sucking public, they’re planning 150 new coal-fired plants. But with coal plants already causing a third of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions, critics are emerging from all corners. A heated battle in Texas over TXU Corp.’s plans for 11 new plants has inspired a hunger strike, an anti-coal coalition of 17 mayors, and now a group of 20 Dallas execs called Texas Business for Clean Air. “We think the plan … is being crammed down our throats,” said business exec David Litman. But TXU is unmoved: “We’re finding it hard to believe that this group … represents the business leadership of the whole state,” said TXU spokesbeeyotch Kim Morgan. In Kansas, plans for three plants that could emit 18 million tons of carbon a year are firing up foes in Colorado and the Northeast, with several states sending a letter of protest this week saying climate change is “the single greatest environmental challenge facing the world today.” Oh, that old saw.