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Northwest's largest coal-fired plant to shut down by 2025

File photo of the TransAlta coal plant in Centralia
Miriam Duerr
Washington Dept. of Ecology
File photo of the TransAlta coal plant in Centralia

It's 14 years off in the future. But a compromise deal will shut down the Northwest's largest coal-fired power plant near Centralia. Legislation is headed to the governor's desk following a vote Thursday in the Washington senate.

Republican Dan Swecker was among those who crossed the aisle and joined Democrats in passing the legislation.

"It is supported in the community where I reside. It gives us a chance to phase-out of the coal electric production and move into other alternatives. It's reasonable, it's timely. It's a step forward."

The TransAlta plant in southwest Washington is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the state. The company will have until 2025 to move away from coal.

Environmentalists had originally sought a 2015 deadline. But by 2020 TransAlta will have to cut its coal-burning in half.

The legislation is the result of months of negotiations between the company, environmentalists, key lawmakers and the governor.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.