LCRA Delays Power Plant Water Deal
The Lower Colorado River Authority board delayed a decision on Wednesday morning to sell over 25,000 acre-feet of water to a South Texas energy project.
The deal to supply water to the White Stallion Energy Center in Matagorda County drew criticism from environmental groups wary of a power plant that would use petroleum coke, a coal by-product.
Ryan Rittenhouse with Public Citizen told board members that selling water like this during a drought does not make sense.
“Why are we spending this time right now literally scraping the proverbial bottom of the barrel for what water availability we have left to waste it on a coal plant that nobody needs and that’s going to make the problem worse?” Rittenhouse asked during his testimony before the board.
But the head of Matagorda County’s Economic Development Corporation told KUT News that the project is a needed one for that part of South Texas.
“They’re hurting, they need help. And this would be a big, big help to them in a time of very great need for them, economically,” said Owen Bludau.
He said that the $3 billion project would provide thousands of construction jobs and 200 more once the plant opens. The LCRA Board will consider the deal again in August.