CaliforniaÂ’s energy may be Wyoming-made

GILLETTE, WYOMING - Wyoming leaders say they're hopeful after visiting California that Wyoming coal can help supply the Golden State's energy needs.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal and the leaders of the state House and Senate flew to Los Angeles to meet with the California Public Utilities Commission and executives of two major utilities.

The delegation sought assurances that California would use electricity from power plants fueled by Wyoming coal, provided the plants meet California's carbon dioxide emissions standards.

"The bottom line is, if Wyoming electricity met California environmental standards, they would probably accept our electricity," said state Rep. Tom Lubnau, R-Gillette, who went on the trip.

California has strict standards for emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas blamed for contributing to global warming. Similar regulations have caused utilities to pull plans for dozens of coal-fired power plants nationwide.

The Wyoming delegation brought draft legislation for encouraging the underground storage of carbon dioxide emitted from Wyoming power plants.

Rob Hurless, Freudenthal's adviser on energy issues, compared the delegation's meeting with California Public Utility Chairman Michael Peevey, Southern California Edison CEO Al Fohrer and San Diego Gas and Electric CEO Debra Reed to visiting a foreign energy minister.

"I would say it's a discussion that is an important discussion and that's why we did it the way we did and took the people we did," he said.


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