- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Architect of the Capitol has been cleared by the Environmental Protection Agency to go forward with the Capitol Power Plant expansion, but residents and environmental activists are banding together in protest of coal-fired energy.

“For the most immediate neighbors of this facility, there simply is no choice to breathe the air that is polluted by our last remaining coal-fired plant,” said D.C. Council member Tommy Wells, in a Roll Call report, explaining his legislation to remove all coal as an energy source in the capital city.

Disapproval at community meetings has been so strong that the city’s Department of Environment has extended the public comment period on the expansion permit, Roll Call reports.

Activists are hoping for a plant expansion that uses natural gas 100 percent of the time. Eva Malecki, spokeswoman for the Architect of the Capitol, said in an email that the proposed project would allow for 100 percent natural gas use.

But until the new technology is up and running, the plant would rely on coal about 8 percent of the time, Roll Call reported — and activists decry even that small amount.