Enron Pulls Plug on 500 MW Plant In FL

Enron Corp. has decided not to move forward with plans to construct a 500 MW power plant in Pompano Beach, FL, a decision that company spokesperson Eric Thode said is in keeping with Enron's overall practice of going into a state with plans to build more plants than the company actually intends to construct. Thode emphasized that the move had nothing to do with public opposition to the facility.

"Essentially, this is the same as every state we've ever built any facilities in," Thode told NGI. "We go in with a lot more facilities than we ever will intend to build. We've gotten to a point in the process that three facilities are further along, to the tune of 1,400 MW, and that's more than enough projects to keep us busy." The three projects in question are in Saint Lucie County, where Enron's project has already been approved, a facility in Deerfield Beach, which Enron expects to be approved at the end of this week, and a facility in South Dade, FL.

Enron's decision not to move forward with the Pompano Beach plant came just before the Pompano Beach City Commission was to vote on the project last Tuesday. Recent press reports indicated that Enron's decision was in response, at least in part, to opposition from local residents, but when asked if the company's decision had anything to do with public opposition to the facility, Thode said, "No, none whatsoever."

Meanwhile, the Broward County Commission is preparing to vote later this month on plans that would impose an 11-month moratorium on the construction of new power plants. "They are considering a moratorium, even though they have been told by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that a moratorium is strictly the decision ofthe state legislature," he said. "Assuming they were to go forward, you've got Broward County Commissioners playing to the voters in this instance, even though they know what they're doing is illegal."

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