Commissioner disagrees with RMP plan


November 27, 2019

A Sweetwater County commissioner wasn’t afraid to publicly voice his displeasure about Rocky Mountain Power’s plan to retire two units at the Jim Bridger Power Plant.

During the commissioners’ meeting last week, Commissioner Wally Johnson discussed an 18-page letter sent to U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney. He said during his recent trip to Washington, D.C., he met with the all three to discuss important issues facing the county and one of those was RMP’s plan. Johnson asked all three if they had a chance to read the letter the Commission sent in June about the negative impact RMP’s plans would have to not just the county, but the state. He was told by all three, they never received the letter. Johnson said he would gladly send the letter again and had already done so prior to the meeting.

“I think we deserve to know that they are informed about what those impacts are going to be,” Johnson said. “The message that I took to them was the state needs to cognizant of what can happen when those units retire.”

“What will, in my opinion, possibly happen, is when those first two units, when they get shut down, will be dismantled,” Johnson said. “Then you’ve got a power plant that’s only at 50 percent capacity.”

Johnson said he urged the congressional delegates to do everything in their power to see that those power plants be sold, if they are going to shut them down.

“If they’re going to shut them down, put them up for sale before those plants get dismantled,” Johnson said. “If they are dismantled, it’s going to be much more difficult to find a willing buyer for those power plants.”

Johnson said they need to use their political clout to ensure the sale happens.

“It’s not in Wyoming’s best interest to have those facilities shut down,” Johnson said. “It might be in the best interest of RMP, California, Oregon and Washington, but it’s surely not in Wyoming’s best interests to see those power plants shut down.”

Johnson said RMP must have green electrons going to those states and Wyoming produces black electrons.

He said he keeps being told by RMP representatives this is being done in the best interests of its customers. Johnson said it’s not in the Wyoming customers best interests, but the West coast customers’ interests.


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