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NV Energy: We have spent millions to improve plant

Reported by: Reed Cowan
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Updated: 7/11/2012 9:58 am
It is a David versus Goliath fight. Less than 400 Moapa Paiutes taking on NV Energy are trying to shut down the Reid Gardner Coal Plant. News 3's Reed Cowan is investigating. The Paiutes claim the plant is slowly killing them? Tonight we hear NV Energy's defense. Here's the bottom line, you pay for electricity made at Reid Gardner with money. Moapa Paiutes say--they pay for it--with their lives.

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- With the Environmental Protection Agency breathing down their necks, NV Energy officials says they've spent millions to improve the air surrounding the Reid Gardner Coal Plant.

News 3's Reed Cowan was allowed access to the heart of the plant and tonight we have NV Energy's side of the story but first we want to disclose something.

NV Energy's public relations representative tried to shape our story. Through e-mails NV Energy set the ground rules for our coverage trying to suggest "how" we tell this story.

Several times on site their representative even suggesting the questions News 3’s Reed Cowan should ask.
In all fairness to NV Energy, that's what PR. reps do.

But we want our viewers to know we told the story--and not NV Energy. With that disclosed -- here is NV Energy's response to the Moapa Paiute's claim that Reid Gardner is killing them.

NV Energy discouraged our camera man from coming in for the first part of our meeting so Cowan used his iPhone for part of the story.

They provided a history through U.S. District court where agreements were made to make changes that would reduce emissions. These were the changes they have made to the tune of nearly $100 million.

Still NV Energy minimized the environmental conditions before those required expensive changes.

News 3 was escorted to the top of a hill above the ponds Moapa Paiutes say contain ash from burned coal.

NV Energy said several old waste ponds have been covered up and retired and newer ponds have been built further away from the reservation.

NV Energy says the air near coal plant is cleaner than the air in metropolitan Las Vegas. News 3 asked him about the photos Moapa Paiutes provided the Sierra Club of ash clouds.

News 3 was escorted to within feet of Reid Gardner coal stacks for another interview.

NV Energy's PR representative priming us beforehand of Jennifer Corpuz' healthy pregnancy as an example of the healthy working conditions and emissions at Reid Gardner.

"We are monitoring everything that is coming out of our stack."

Reid Gardner machine monitors the stacks emissions with these machines--but not--the ponds people like Russell Phillips say--cause the ash clouds.

"Sometimes groups may only hear what they want to hear," said the NV Energy PR representative. "But you would agree trends are going away from coal and to renewable energy."

News 3 was given data provided by NV Energy showing the company has reduced emissions. This is the story they want to tell. You be the judge.

There is a third side to this story and that is the science. Tomorrow at 5 we reveal what is really in the air in Moapa News 3 had a sample tested. The results were a major concern to a local chemist.
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