The Oklahoma Sierra Club says the decision by American Electric Power to close its Oklaunion coal-fired power plant in Vernon, Texas is long overdue.
The company plans to end operations by September 2020, prompting the Sierra Club to call it “welcome news” to Texans and Oklahomans alike who currently breathe air polluted by the plant.
“Oklaunion sits less than 50 miles away from the iconic Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Olahoma and contributes significantly to hazy skies in national parks and wilderness areas across the region,” claimed Johnson Bridgwater, Oklahoma Sierra Club Chapter Director.
He pointed out his organization had long advocated for more stringent pollution limits at the plant to protect air quality in Texas and Oklahoma communities as well as national parks.
” EPA and Texas have refused to limit pollution from the power plant to protect visibility and air quality in Oklahoma and Texas national parks and wilderness areas,” stated Bridgwater.
Oklaunion, an approximate 700-megawatt power plant, is owned by AEP Texas, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority and the Public Service Company of Oklahoma.
This plant, situated near the border between Texas and Oklahoma, provides power for both the Southwest Power Pool in Oklahoma and the area managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). In addition to providing power, this plant is a a top ten polluter of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)- a smog forming pollutant- out of ALL industrial sites in Texas.