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Utilities oppose plan for forced buying of power

Environmentalists, power generators, and other industry groups are raising concerns about a provision in an energy bill before the Legislature that would require local utilities to buy electricity on a long-term basis from new power plants built on the site of coal- or oil-fired plants getting shut down.

The provision is aimed at replacing aging facilities such as Salem Harbor Power Station, a 60-year-old coal- and oil-fired plant scheduled to be retired in 2014 in part because of stricter pollution rules.

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