Rocky Mountain Power Defends Environmental Record

Jun 25, 2013

Environmentalists are applauding President Obama’s proposals to limit greenhouse gas emissions by executive action.  But Rocky Mountain Power says one group’s criticism ignores what it’s been doing for years.  

HEAL Utah hailed the president’s speech as a “welcome day for all Americans,” but then launched immediately into an attack on Utah’s biggest electric utility, Rocky Mountain Power.  Matt Pacenza of HEAL Utah says the power company hasn’t been doing enough to move away from coal-generated power.

“As folks know in Utah," Pacenza told KUER, "we are as dependent upon dirty coal as any part of the country.  And unfortunately, our utility, Rocky Mountain Power, has shown very little interest in embracing wind and solar and geothermal.”

Maria O’Mara with Rocky Mountain Power says that’s just not so – she points to the recent expansion of the company’s Blundell geothermal plant, its net metering program for solar power installations and its investment in wind power.

O'Mara says, “Rocky Mountain Power as part of Pacificorp is a wind investment leader in the West, with a total of 14-hundred megawatts of wind resources in the company’s service territory, much of that brought online in the last ten years.”

Rocky Mountain Power let the Edison Electric Institute, an industry trade group respond directly to the president’s proposals.  Edison’s statement says industry wants to ensure that new regulations have achievable deadlines and minimize costs to customers.

KUER's Andrea Smardon contributed to this story.