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These critics are unmoved by the AOCís insistence that the ability to install new technology at the Capitol Power Plant would ultimately achieve everybodyís desire to have a 100 percent natural gas-powered operation. It doesnít change what itís done in the past, they say, and the AOC hasnít offered any timeline for the projectís completion. Coal would still have to be burned until all systems are ďgo,Ē 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 itís still unclear whether it would have the necessary enforcement teeth to compel Congress to comply, the billís purpose would be ďto protect public health and hold the Architect of the Capitol to previous commitments to end the use of coal at the Capitol Power Plant.Ē