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Norton Wants Clarifications From AOC on Capitol Power Plant

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Norton is the latest voice to join the chorus of calls for the Architect of the Capitol to clarify its policy on burning coal at the Capitol Power Plant.

These critics are unmoved by the AOC’s insistence that the ability to install new technology at the Capitol Power Plant would ultimately achieve everybody’s desire to have a 100 percent natural gas-powered operation. It doesn’t change what it’s done in the past, they say, and the AOC hasn’t offered any timeline for the project’s completion. Coal would still have to be burned until all systems are “go,” Malecki said recently, which could take years.

Their champion on the ground is Tommy Wells, the D.C. councilmember whose ward includes the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

On Tuesday, the day after launching an exploratory committee for a 2014 mayoral run, Wells made good on his promise to introduce legislation that would ban the use of coal as a fuel source in D.C. by Jan. 1, 2016.

Though it’s still unclear whether it would have the necessary enforcement teeth to compel Congress to comply, the bill’s purpose would be “to protect public health and hold the Architect of the Capitol to previous commitments to end the use of coal at the Capitol Power Plant.”

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