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Austin Energy report recommends coal plant sale

Associated Press Published: September 18, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Central Texas utility has recommended selling its share of a coal-fired plant and relying more on natural gas to generate electricity.

Austin Energy on Monday night offered the report to the city's Electric Utility Commission. The Austin City Council ordered the report and will be briefed next month.

The Austin American-Statesman ( reports Austin Energy wants permission to take offers on the Fayette plant, expand natural gas-powered facilities or build a replacement power plant.

The unit is co-owned by the city and the Lower Colorado River Authority, which has said it might buy Austin's share. The Fayette plant, which provides about a third of Austin's energy, is located 80 miles southeast of Austin.

The Sierra Club has been urging Austin Electric to stop using coal amid pollution concerns.