Lawsuit Over Coal Deal Cancellation Hangs Over LADWP

By Published On: November 2, 2007

At the end of last week, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power secretly discussed strategies for dealing with a possible lawsuit over its cancellation of a long term-coal deal in Utah. A group of municipalities and a private utility threatened to sue LADWP July 18 for pulling out of investing in a new coal plant at the Intermountain Power Project in Utah (Circuit, July 20, 2007). Los Angeles was heavily pressured by the city mayor and state politicians to reduce its coal use to curb its greenhouse gas emissions. A spokesperson for the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems said October 30 that the association’s board has not yet decided whether to file suit. She added that the association and PacfiCorp have until January to sue the muni and its alleged partner in crime, the Intermountain Power Agency. The suit is primarily targeted at the Intermountain Power Agency, which along with LADWP, allegedly breached their contracts. IPA and the department announced they were not going to support the development of a new coal unit last March. Last July, the muni’s attorney said he expected to file suit the following month. “People are getting shaky about making big investments in coal,” said Roger Clark, air and energy director of the Grand Canyon Trust. “The boiler plate about coal being cheap is baloney,” he added.

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