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Council OK's Extension For Long-delayed Wyo. Plant

"How many more years are we going to face these extensions?" Miller said. "We need this power plant online. We needed it online 15 years ago."

Miller and Sandy Shuptrine, of Jackson, voted against the permit extension.

Newcastle City Engineer Bob Hartley and Doug Thomas, a representative of the Wyoming Building and Construction Trades Council, spoke in favor of the project. Two Elk's developers seem to be exercising "due diligence" toward creating jobs in the Wright area, Thomas said.

"After this project is built, it will put a lot of people to work," Thomas told the council.

Nobody at the meeting testified that the project presented any socio-economic or environmental concerns, noted the attorney for the project, state Rep. Mary Throne, of Cheyenne. The council had no legal authority to deny the extension, she told its members.

Council member John Corra, of Cheyenne, who retired last fall as director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, questioned whether North American Power Group would get an investor in time to resume construction early next year.

Also skeptical was Richard O'Gara, an economist from Cheyenne.

"I haven't heard anything here this morning that tells me it's going to happen," O'Gara said.

Corra and O'Gara nonetheless voted for the permit extension, as did council member Peter Brandjord, of Green River, and Warner, the council chairman.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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