20 December 2006 at 12:28:09 AM
Even shareholders think TXU is doing a poor job and question their judgement
Texas-based utility TXU (ticker: TXU) is proceeding with plans to build 11 new pulverized coal-burning power plants in its home state that will annually emit 78 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)--the primary greenhouse gas (GHG) contributing to global warming. This would more than double the company's current annual carbon emissions of 55 million tons. It also represents the first phase in TXU's plan to add 13 more "cookie-cutter" plants (designed the same as the Texas plants) nationwide that would emit an additional 92 million tons of CO2. Combined, these 225 million tons of annual CO2 emissions would give TXU the largest corporate carbon footprint in the US--all at a time when scientists say we need to stabilize (not increase) carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Some shareowners are voicing loud opposition to this project. Ceres, a coalition of environmental organizations and institutional investors, has coordinated the filing of three separate shareowner resolutions challenging the company's coal plant project. Five New York City pension funds filed a resolution that asks TXU to report on how it is responding to rising regulatory, competitive, and public pressure to reduce carbon and other emissions (such as mercury) from its proposed plants.
"At a time when other major utility companies are seeking to reduce their contribution to global warming and are proposing cleaner plants that would release less CO2 and provide for greater control over emissions, such as gasification, TXU is building 11 big power plants that will be fueled with pulverized coal," said New York City Comptroller William Thompson. "Given the anticipated focus on federal regulations of CO2 emissions in the new Congress, TXU's strategic thinking seems glaringly short-sighted and unsustainable."
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