In a largely ceremonial suggestion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called today for switching a Washington, D.C., power plant to natural gas.
The move comes just days before a scheduled protest against the 100-year-old coal plant that powers the nation’s Capitol, according to the New York Times.
“The Capitol Power Plant continues to be the No. 1 source of air pollution and carbon emissions in the District of Columbia and the focal point for criticism from local community and national environmental and public health groups,” the Democrats wrote in a letter to acting Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers.
The status of the plant has divided Congress for years. Environmentalists and city residents have called for it to stop burning coal, but lawmakers from coal-producing states have fought back.
It would cost $7 million to switch the plant completely to natural gas.