City Moves Forward With Plan to Go Green

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TALLAHASSEE - A coal plant in Taylor County is still years away from being built, but now Florida's governor says he doesn't support it.

City leaders say they'll still move forward with talk of the Taylor Energy Center. Keep in mind, they haven't actually signed on to it yet. In the meantime, they have some plans of their own to go green.

At a recent press conference pushing for renewable energy, Gov. Crist announced he doesn't back using coal to power the state.

"To look into solar, wind turbines, things of that nature, instead of coal, and I understand there's clean coal and that's better than dirty coal, but my preference would be none of it," said Gov. Crist.

Now, Tallahassee officials say they're right on board with his preference, but they'll continue talk of a new coal plant, like the one in Jacksonville.

"Along those lines we're trying to make it the cleanest coal plant we're going to have in the whole state," said David Byrne, director of Energy Services for the city of Tallahassee. "And that's part of Tallahassee's commitment to being green."

That commitment includes some short-term energy plans including using biomass. One plan would turn your everyday trash into a useable gas by burning it at a power plant. Another idea would turn forest waste into energy. Some Tallahassee residents are all for it.

"I think that would be a better idea using natural resources instead of polluting the air more then it already is," said Tara Whitney, a lifelong Tallahassee resident.

"If the new ideas fall apart, then you'll have a backup plan," commented Jeffrey Smith, a resident of 20-plus years.

The plans are still a few years away from being implemented. Until then city leaders say the coal plant will stay in their long-term plans.

City officials say in the long run the coal plant would be cheaper and more reliable. They say other options, like wind turbines, could be too risky since it's not always windy here.