Arkansas’s largest electric company is dropping plans to build a power plant run off fracked natural gas, according to documents filed with the Arkansas Public Service Commission last week. The change of plans is good news for the planet. A release from the Sierra Club explains:
Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas that over a 20-year period absorbs 86 times more heat than carbon dioxide, which is why Sierra Club advocated against these investments as an intervenor in the planning process.
The Sierra Club has long pressured Entergy to skew greener, and was party to a lawsuit that will force three Arkansas coal and natural gas power plants off line within the next decade.
Glen Hooks, chapter director for the Sierra Club of Arkansas, said he hopes Entergy looks to fill those gaps with renewable energy sources:
The risks of gas are well documented, including volatile price spikes and widespread failure during the February freeze, environmental destruction caused by fracking, and releases of dangerous methane emissions during the extraction, transportation, and burning of gas. It is clear that gas is not a bridge to a sustainable future and must be excluded from utility goals to reach net-zero emissions because of our changing climate.
UPDATE: Entergy issued a statement through a spokesperson:
The analysis we conducted in our 2021 Integrated Resource Plan showed that renewable resources represent the best combination of cost, reliability and environmental sustainability for meeting the load and energy requirements of our customers. Removing the natural gas-powered CCGT from Entergy Arkansas’ prior resource plan and replacing it with emission-free renewable resources provided better economics and increased environmental benefits for our customers.