Skip to content

Pelosi, Reid: Capitol Power Plant Won’t Burn Coal Anymore

Hoping to chip away at the image of the Capitol Power Plant as an iconic symbol of the nation’s reliance on dirty fuels, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Friday announced that coal will no longer be used for heating Capitol complex buildings and water.Instead, they said, natural gas will serve as the Capitol’s sole fuel source for steam.Stephen Ayers, the Acting Architect of the Capitol, said in a letter to Democratic leaders that coal will only be burned going forward for backup capacity. He said this may be the case if heating needs exceed the capacity of the natural gas pipeline serving the complex, if abnormally cold conditions place higher than normal demands on the plant, or if equipment outages on the gas boilers require a backup.“The Congress of the United States should not only be a model for the nation, but also a good neighbor. As we green the Capitol, moving the Capitol Power Plant from the 19th century to the 21st century is a crucial step,— Pelosi said.Reid said the switch to natural gas “shows that the House and Senate are leading by example in reducing our emissions.—The plant is the No. 1 source of air pollution in the District of Columbia and has been the focal point for criticism from environmental and public health groups. In February, Pelosi and Reid called for switching the plant to natural gas in the lead-up to a scheduled protest against coal combustion at the plant.Ayers previously has said the cost of switching completely to natural gas is $7 million.

Recent Stories

Strange things are afoot at the Capitol

Photos of the week ending May 24, 2024

Getting down on the Senate floor — Congressional Hits and Misses

US-China tech race will determine values that shape the future

What’s at stake in Texas runoff elections on Tuesday

Democrats decry ‘very, very harmful’ riders in Legislative Branch bill