Coal plants & gas plants

Austin Energy wants a new gas plant.

Last week, Mayor Kirk Watson abruptly announced in his "Watson Wire" newsletter that City Council should delay action on the Austin Energy Resource, Generation & Climate Plan:

Austin Energy has been working on a long-term generation plan that is slated to come to City Council next month. But I have serious questions and can’t support the plan at this point. 
It’s time to put the brakes on the 2030 Resource, Generation and Climate Protection Plan for Austin Energy and scrub all the options. As part of this, there also needs to be a very real and robust focus on getting us out of the Fayette Power Plant.

Ending Austin Energy's "share" of Fayette has been a stated objective of City Council for years, but it's not something the city can do on its own. There are three coal units at Fayette, two of which are jointly owned by AE and the LCRA. Ideally, the city would swap its share in one of the units with LCRA so that it fully controls one, allowing it to shut it down permanently.

In theory, this shouldn't cost the LCRA anything. But the LCRA answers to the GOP leadership at the state. It has no incentive to accommodate AE's climate goals. If we want out, it's probably going to charge us a hefty ransom just because it can.