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100 Coal Plants Prevented PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marjorie Holt   
Friday, July 10 2009

AboutGoalsNewsLocalOutingsJoin, Renew, GiveTake Action  homepage - goals - coal - 100 coal plants prevented


This Sierra Club milestone, 100 coal plants defeated, marks a significant shift in the way Americans are looking at our energy choices.

Cities, states, businesses and electric utilities are all moving away from the polluting coal power of the past. Where coal is no longer holding us back, clean energy technologies are leading the way to help repower, rebuild and refuel America. Watch the video to learn how we got here and why it's critical we move America beyond coal.

 

Meet the Movement
Are you working to move your community and the nation beyond coal? Add your story and read the stories from others in the movement.

John B. said...
For thirty years, I have fought the use and mining of coal in my region because that region became the largest concentration of coal plants in the world. As a result, a kid in Evansville, IN is five times more likely to be hospitalized with asthma than his counterpart in Ft. Wayne, IN which has similar demographics but no nearby coal plants. Coal has also devastated the regional economy and environment, leaving a legacy of waste and illness while stripping communities of their pride. Even though billions of dollars have been invested in this region in coal plants and mines, the area continues to be depressed economically just like every other coal community in the world. When you stake your future on coal, you get nothing but pollution and ill health in return. Evansville, Indiana

Fran C. said...
It is important to me because the mountain in WV where I played as a kid is now a slurry pit. We were poor, everyone was poor in the '40s in the Appalachians but we had our mountains. Now we don't even have a tree but we do have memories.

Leslie M. said...
It is important for America to move beyond coal and embrace clean energy for a brighter future. We need to preserve our mountains, heal our asthmatic children and restore our clean air by using wind and solar power. Hillsboro, Oregon

Joyce B. said...
Hundreds of thousands of prime flat farmland in Illinois will be devastated by longwall mining subsidence if we do not move beyond coal: it is already happening in the heartland of our nation's farm fields. Peoria, Illinois

Charles B. said...
I've driven through an appalachian coal town. I stopped overnight and could barely breathe the next few days. No one should have to live in a place like that.

Roger D. said...
My morning paper announced intentions of my power company to seek a rate increase. The revenue would be spent to build new coal and nuclear capacity and new powerlines to import "coal by wire". If I have to pay even a little more for my electricity, I want it to be for clean, green power. Fairfax, Virginia

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 sumit jain said...
i want to tell,that in Ghaziabad there is lot of pollution due to coal reason being Ghaziabad is indrusrial area,but i want to save my study place,where i am doing b-tech(CS)

Reply 07/10/2009 at 06:07 AM   jeff said in reply to David B...
Right on. Obama is OneBigAssMistakeAmerica, and the leftist socialists currently in the Congress are getting rich off of this so-called "Global Warming" (or is it now Climate Change?) mantra spewed forth all through a liberal media. Al Gore has a larger IR footprint than freakin' North Korea! Build nuclear plants (Al Gore needs his own) to supplement the increasing demand for energy (iPods/cell phones/PS3s/electric cars, anyone?), drill right through the stupid caribou's head for oil....we shouldn't care. If America really wants to be energy-independent and economically safe, stop buying billions of dollars in oil from our sworn enemies, those Fatwa-crying towel heads in the Middle East. Wake the hell up, America. Vote the idiots out of the Congress in 2010; take our country back!

Reply 07/10/2009 at 05:57 AM   David B said...
Can you or Obama tell everyone how many jobs are at risk if uninformed, media attention seekers, morons like the Sierra Club, Al Gore (which is a energy using HOG), and all the other STUPID Americans out there don't stop this ridicoulous Global Warming theory. The earth goes through changes all the time. The earth is going to do whatever it wants too regardless if you want it to or not. Obama cannot save a planet that is not in need of saving. Why bail out credit card agencies, banks, and car makers. If you put the coal miners out of work then they will not be able to print enough money to keep them alive. Coal is what keeps Kentucky, Virginia and many other states alive. Just think of all the stores, garages, banks, restaurants, hospitals, schools, gas stations, etc. that our paychecks go to. No you don't think about this. You no nothing about the american coal miner. I do because this is waht I have done with the last 18 years of my life. Where else can someone go without a college degree and start out making 60K a year. No where.My family depends on me to provide food, medical insurance, clothing and any other need that may arise. Take your gun from my head because if you pull the plug on coal then you pull the trigger. Do you ever stop to think how many lives you are trying to destroy. No you don't because you don't care. You just want to be on the Band Wagon. Are you going to tell your children and grandchildren about how you destroyed families all across this great nation? No. When a strip mines leaves they leave behind useful land to build on. They leave behind ponds, green grass,some even leave behind golf courses for people like you to play on. When natural gas companies leave they do not reclaim their sites. They destroy land and are not regulated. When loggers clear cut entire mountains they do not reclaim leave land that a goat could not get through. The are not regulated. Coal mines are regulated. we leave behind useful land. Stop trying to kill me and all the other men and women who love this country for the great opportunities it prvides us. China produces more pollution than any other nation. Do you not realize that their smog will still get you. Or can Obama build a bubble around the USA. I think not. Wake up morons.

Reply 07/10/2009 at 05:35 AM   David B said...
I have a good question for all the tree huggers and wind fools what happens when the wind doesn't blow...will Obama make Mother Nature bow before him like you fools are doing? What about all the hundreds of thousands of coal miners, like myself, that will lose their job? Are you going to pay our car payments, ins, mortgages, Are you going to buy our groceries, cloth our children? Probally not. And while you are giving billions of dollars to GM to keep them a float when their are other carmakers out their. Why go broke for them? Obama cannot bail out the entire world. So why does he get to pick who lives and who dies? Give the coal companies bailout money to build Cleaner coal burning plants. Or send the bailout money to our homes since we are going to be the people who need it more than the people over us that already have millions of dollars laid back and are not that worried. Without coal me and my family will be homeless. And I don't see any wind or solar job's here. So before you pull the trigger you need to wake up and realize you are destroying families and lives everywhere. We are not the killers...YOU ARE YHE KILLERS.

Reply 07/10/2009 at 04:56 AM   Susan Holmes said...
I am from Bokoshe, Oklahoma, which is 30 miles southwest of Fort Smith, Arkansas. We are the quintessential small town USA. We have the unique situation of a fly ash disposal pit outside of our town. When AES proposed building an additional coal fire plant twice the size of Shady Point I, our problem with fly ash became a major issue. Building the second plant would at least double if not triple the amount of fly ash dumped around Bokoshe. The permit for Shady Point II has been withdrawn, but our problem with fly ash remains. It is the dirty part of coal no one talked much about until Kingston, TN and still seem to ignore. We are a pre-Kingston. Our fly disposal site is one mile from town and the fly ash is transported in trucks to it from the coal fire plant 7 miles down the road. There are 8 trucks running 10 loads each a day. Many rules and regulations are being broken about how it is supposed to be transported in the trucks and disposed of and we have not been able to do anything about it. At this point, we have taken up our own cause and are trying to do something about it. We had the first town hall meeting and our website has gone live, http://www.intheairwebreathe.com/

We were told the fly ash was mainly limestone. As you know, is not just limestone. It is full of carcinogens, mutagens, and toxins. In the immediate area surrounding our fly ash disposal pit, there are 14 families. Out of 14 families, there are cancer victims in 13 of them. You can’t tell me there is not something wrong with that. In our local café, you can sit and talk with people from town and the surrounding area. You will hear about another person just diagnosed with cancer, or someone trying to survive cancer for the 2nd or 3rd time. On the other hand, people come in dragging an oxygen bottle behind them they cannot live without. They have never smoked but they have been breathing fugitive fly ash dust for years.

In January, this year the ADEQ shut down 11 land farm oil & gas waste water disposal sites in their state. At this time many of the Arkansas companies shut down for mismanagement, improper inspections and permit problems are now dumping oil & gas waste water at Making Money Having Fun fly ash disposal pit. I estimated approximately 800,000 to 1,200,000 gallons of oil & gas waste water a day being dump into the fly ash disposal pit. If they are actually accepting 200 per day as one of the partner said that would mean up to 8,400,000 gallons per week. We have seen a minimum of six companies hauling water to the site. The water disposal trucks run 24/7. Having a fly ash problem was bad enough without adding oil & gas waste water into the mix. Especially Arkansas oil & gas waste water.

If you get a chance to look at the website, it shows what it is like to have a fly ash disposal site outside of town. The video on the website shows what it is like when they dump dry fly ash. It is terrible. Every day we get up and try to figure out what we need to do next. We work towards identifying our problems and finding a solution. I call and email everyone I can to see if they can point us in the right direction to be able to fight the problem. Still no one really talks about it. However, we are going to keep fighting until someone does listen.

Reply 07/10/2009 at 04:35 AM   Elisa Barrett said...
I am third generation Irish in America. Both my Grandfathers worked in the Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Mines when they settled in the USA. My Paternal Grandfather worked as a blacksmith making the pick axes and the railway cars that went into the coal mines. He never worked in the mines, but, saw the men that did. He was there when men would be trapped and died due to this industry.

My Maternal Grandfather worked directly in the mines. He was a huge Irishman and was rather successful in his day. He raised most of his eleven children while working in the mines until the Anthracite ran out in the Pennsylvania mines. He then moved to Detroit and worked for the car industries. But, he died of Black Lung Disease from his days in the coal mines.

The Anthracite Coal in Pennsylvania was the cleanest burning of any of the coals and it was harvested to the very end. It emitted CO2 along with other impurities. Cleanest burning does not mean it didn't have emissions into the atmosphere. It no longer exists, except, in museums. The coal mines of Pennsylvania still exist. The homes that were built over top of the coal mines in Pennsylvania are never guaranteed to stand for the normal life of a home, they sometimes sink and crack when the mines below them continue to collapse.

Unknown to most Americans, this country has the largest deposit of coal in the world. Even China does not have as much coal as the USA. By every measure, the USA should be engaging in a huge economic boom because of the coal available to exploit. We don't. We would perfer to see the coal industry shut down. We should feel that way and to our moral side regarding the environment we have been able to force a shrinkage of the coal industry. We need to take it further and shut down this deadly and anciet form of energy.

For decades, the coal industry has worked outside the demands of government for safety and environmental standards. It is time to close the permission of this industry to exist while sacrificing the very moral laws we have written to save Earth and our home. Clean Coal Technology is a theory and nothing more.

We need to end the exploitation of the moral fiber of the USA and close down the coal industry.

Reply 07/10/2009 at 03:00 AM   Charles Griffin said...
Please use some of your digital bits to explaining the status and promise of new-technology, clean, green, non-radioactive nuclear power from the fusion of hydrogen and boron by impacting them together (by using electromagnetic and/or electrostatic forces) into carbon that in turn fissions immediately (like a Jack-in-the-box after being unlatched ) from the kinetic energy of the impact of the hydrogen and boron... into stable, non-radioactive, positively-charged helium-ions... that in turn have the tremendous productive kinetic energy (e = mc2) resulting from being accelerated by the inherent, restrained, repelling electrostatic-force (a = f/m) of the positive-charged protons of the boron atom that have been latched together (by the "strong force" or "nuclear-interactive-force") ever-since they were forced together by the weight of gravity at the center of the massive stars and/or the resulting nova of an exploding star,... blown apart by the fission reactions of its composite unstable radioactive heavy elements at its compressed core... All beautifully photographed by the Hubble telescope).

Three companies are developing electrical generating power plants using this basic technology...
(1) Energy Mater Conversion Corporation (EMC2) in Santa Fe, NM led by a scientist from the Sandia Weapons Lab in NM and presently under contract with the US Navy China Lake Weapon development Station at Inyokern, CA to develop and produce electrical power plants to propel all its ships and submarines... http://emc2fusion.org
(2) Tri Alpha Energy in Lake Forest, CA ... a proprietary company funded by VenRock and Paul Allen and substantial larger foreign investors and based on patents developed by professor Norman Rostoker at UCI... interrogate google...
(3) Focus Fusion Society ... an organization supported by the University of Chile and promoted by Eric Lerner and research at Texas A&M and supported initially by the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA to use hydrogen-boron fusion rockets for space exploration... http://focusfusion.org

I would appreciate a response and support for this promising technology , but ... not a canned complaint of radioactive waste that does apply to this technology ...
The economic viability should be obvious since the machines are relatively small and hydrogen and boron is plentiful with many boron salt deposits located around the world and much more still dissolved in the ocean. This is a promicing maturing technology that has been supported by billions of dollars of research by the our tax dollars primarily ineffectively at Princton University and now by the international Tokamak Experimental Reactor in France and Los Alomos, NM & Livermore CA Weapons Labs that involve heavy, radioactive hydrogen isotopes instead of contemporary clean hydrogen and boron technology developed after 30 years of research at UCI and Texas A&M...

 

Reply 07/10/2009 at 02:51 AM   Christopher Lanski of Lancaster, CA said...
I am thankful that I live in one of the few states that isn't pushing for coal power. There is such a great possibility to build more environmentally-friendly and more sustainable jobs. Accomplish this with newer power-generating technologies. I'm sure the places dealing with mountain top coal mining would be much more thankful for a cleaner approach that saves their communities while provides sustainable employment during these tough times.

Reply 07/10/2009 at 01:34 AM   D and K Miller said...
Years back, I followed the devastation caused by the 4 Corners mammoth plant that laid silt over previously fertile Hopi corn fields and polluted both Hopi and Navajo lands, skys and waters. At that time, its smoke plume was so large it was the only man-made thing visible from space. I have known for a long time that coal mining and production destroys more than the energy it produces is worth.

I'm very thankful to hear of stopped coal plants!

Reply 07/09/2009 at 11:55 PM   tom m said in reply to Mike Parkis...
Mike-Why hasn't it happened then? Because no one can afford it and never will. It's pie in the sky stuff. Have you ever been to a geothermal site? I have. It's a dirty, stinking, filthy hell hole.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 10:31 PM   tom m said in reply to Mon P...
A conspirary theory. Green suppressed technolgies. Very interesting. Being held captive by the super rich in power. MMM.... Spend all our military budget on developing green energy technology that will get us nowhere. You must be one of Obama's czar/advisors because that's what he's doing. You're all nuts!!!!

Reply 07/09/2009 at 10:22 PM   Mon P said...
http://deepdownfilm.org/

is a documentary film about a small community in eastern Kentucky fighting for their family holler...

Reply 07/09/2009 at 10:12 PM   Mon P said in reply to tom m...
We must release clean green suppressed technologies that have been possessed by the super rich in power. These don't even need to be anything too cosmic such as Teslas brilliant technology, or reverse engineered UFOs ..its simpler stuff such as geothermal, wave, wind and solar free energies that would free the population of our planet from poverty and dirty coal & oil, and eventually enable all people, not just the elites, to have a high, green standard of living. Plus, I would love to live in the woods, that would be like paradise. If we invested in the green technologies instead of our military, they would surpass coal and oil. Coal and oil was necessary in the past but we are ready to evolve beyond now.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 10:06 PM   LS said...
I'd like to point out that in Texas we were able to not only drastically reduce the number of planned coal plants, but also get TXU to make huge commitments to clean up their existing plants. We also got the legislature to make huge commitments to expand the infrastructure needed to utilize West Texas wind farms. I was not very optimistic when I initially got involved, but I am so glad I did! I encourage everyone to do the same.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 09:12 PM   Mike Parkis said in reply to tom m...
Tom: In May 2009, the NERL Technical Report stated that the shallow hydrothermal potential for the U.S. is 30,000 megawatts. The developable, implying deep drilling, as is done when drilling for oil, is 1,000,000 MW. �On p. 42 of Skeptic magazine, Dr. Calvin reports that the potential resource for deep geothermal, in just the U.S., could yield one thousand �times our present overall energy use�with�close�to�zero�pollution. Mike

 

 

 

 


Reply 07/09/2009 at 09:05 PM   tom m said in reply to Mike Parkis...
Mike-how many Mw do you think you think you can generate and @ what cost with geothermal? A very small amount compared to coal fired central generating stations and the cost is atleast double or more than what you're currently paying. Goethermal is fine but cannot fuel our industry and economy needs as neither solar or wind can. If you don't want coal then build nuclear.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 07:12 PM   tom m said in reply to Pat Smitt...
Pat-Hope you enjoy your life in the woods. That's where we'll all be if the Sierra Club has it's way.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 07:03 PM   Jim said in reply to rich...
Thanks for pointing out the global perspective rich. The out of control coal mine fires have the most devestating impact on the environment. Just another mess nobody wants to clean up. Maybe I should learn chinese and head over there.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 06:42 PM   kenny said in reply to Mary Lou Tringali...
all right...get those big old windmills churning away in your backyard especially if you have beachfront property

Reply 07/09/2009 at 06:36 PM   mrst said...
I live in West Virginia, the closing of a local coal mine, not only put 150 miners out of work, but countless truck drivers and other personnel. The damage to our local economy is unbelievable. While I want CLEAN COAL, closing coal mines and PUTTING PEOPLE OUT OF WORK, IS NOT THE ANSWER! I want CLEAN AIR, and CLEAN WATER, NO MORE DEATHS TO TB, AND LUNG diseases, but think about what you are doing to the people and towns and schools and economy that depend on those coal mines before you shut them down. Give them an alternative.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 05:45 PM   Steve Books said in reply to Mike Parkis...
Congratulations to all involved in making our world a better place without coal! Sierra Club has been very instrumental in very well planned constructive positive action to bring better energy use forward. I would like to especially thank Mr. Bruce Nilles for all of his work - excellent! Energy efficiency is definately in my book.

Thanks!

Reply 07/09/2009 at 05:28 PM   Anne Hess said...
I grew up for several early years in Greensburg, PA and knew coal and its effects on the environment and people first hand. Later as a young adult I lived downwind from a coal-powered electric plant and saw the damage coal does to everything in its path. Now I am horrified at the methods used to get more coal and the toxic waste left behind. Who can think this is worth all this destruction when alternatives are known and available? Not me.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 05:16 PM   Mike Parkis said in reply to LORRAINE B NIZNICK-TRUAN...
Have hope Lorraine-there is a pollution-free, long-established method of generating electric power ready to be tapped. It's Geothermal Energy and it is being used in 31 countries all over the world. The Italians developed the first geothermal power plant in 1904 and I saw one being used in New Zealand in 1972. The U.S. is lagging behind most of the world, probably because the oil and coal industries discourage Congress from shifting over. Geothermal generators are the same as oil or coal or nuclear generators, they just use a different source of steam to drive the turbines. You drill two holes into the ground in a spot that a geophysicist says is on top of a convenient source of heat. Then you pump water down one hole and heat from the Earth's core turns it into steam that comes up the other hole. NO FUEL IS REQUIRED, NO POLLUTION IS GENERATED, NO MONEY IS SHIPPED TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES. You just disconnect the oil or coal or nuclear source and run a pipe to your steam source. Want a bit more information? Try the March/April issue of the Sierra Club magazine, page 20. Want the big picture? Read the book Global Fever, by William Sinclair or a synopsis of it in the Skeptic magazine, volume 14, Number 1, 2008. Then join me and write to your local, state and national politicians demanding change. Mike

Reply 07/09/2009 at 04:47 PM   picturecat said...
Yay and hurrah. But we need to hurry up! And keep the pressure up. Do not our legislators realize that NOW is the time for heroes and that everyone else will be proved a fool? Go on, hug a tree!!!! Thank you everyone for fighting the fight.
We've just spent 18 months building an HEH (High Efficiency House) and boy are we happy!!!!

Reply 07/09/2009 at 03:34 PM   Pat Smitt said...
Bobby Kennedy once advised us to 'question initial assumptions'. While the immediate economic situation may appear to be aggravated by energy policy changes - we must recognize that the greater issue of our future survival is at stake. It is very inconvenient - even painful to imagine real lifestyle changes.

I can tell you that in reality it is very satisifying...and fun.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 03:09 PM   Camacho said...
Coal dust is a serious problem and one more reason why we need to move beyond coal.
See http://sierraclub.typepad.com/scrapbook/2009/05/big-coal-dust-victory-in-virginia.html

Reply 07/09/2009 at 02:52 PM   Pat Smitt said...
Growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee in the 40's and 50's we all breathed black soot in the air. But then - we still had the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and the breathtaking Appalachian Trail. Now - 60 years later - from California - I watch as those mountains, rivers and valleys are destroyed by mindless production of more coal.

My only hope comes from walking the walk. Six years ago - leaving the comforts of 'civilation' and moving to the woods off grid - I am rebuilding from the ground up - a more sustainable life and lifestyle. Solar powered activism is my current mantra...hope it's working.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 02:49 PM   Stewart said...
Congratulations on raising the un-employment rate!

Reply 07/09/2009 at 02:22 PM   LORRAINE B NIZNICK-TRUAN said...
I THINK YOUR EFFORTS ARE MOSE LAUDIBLE, BUT HAS ANYONE FOCUSED ON WHAT CLEAN FUEL IS GOING TO COST?
IF PRICES ARE GOING TO RISE FOR CLEAN POWER AND THE COMPANY FOR WHICH I WORK DOES NOT RAISE MY WAGES PROPORTIONATELY - I CANNOT AFFORD CLEAN - ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS OF CLEAN POWER IS HAVING THE VERY HIGH COST OF CLEAN POWER PLACED DIRECTLY ON CONSUMER - MY SALARY HAS NOT AND DOES NOT MEET THE CONSTANT RISE OF COST FOR CLEAN DIRTY OR INTERMEDIATE POWER--IF CLEAN AIR IS GOING TO COST ME MORE OUT OF MY DWINDLING PAY CHECK I DO NOT WANT IT -- PLEASE CONSIDER AND MAKE PROVISION FOR THIS MOST DISCONCERTING PROBLEM WHEN YOU ARE PRAISING CLEAN POWER

Reply 07/09/2009 at 01:20 PM   Paloma said...
Hi all!

This is great news. I just wanted to share this link with all of you from NRDC's switchboard. It has to do with coal mountain top removal. You will be impressed, please read. I hope we have many more successes down the road.

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/rperks/bank_of_america_puts_a_deposit.html

Reply 07/09/2009 at 01:10 PM   tom martinko said in reply to Lex...
Lex-cause the true facts show it doesn't. Nothing that Al Gore and the Sierra Club predicted in 2000 has come to pass. In fact it's been just the opposite. The globe has cooled since then. How do you explain that?

Reply 07/09/2009 at 12:40 PM   tom martinko said in reply to Wendy Sands...
Hey Wendy I don't know how old you are or when this happened but your comments suggest it must have been a long, long, long time ago. That kind of stuff doesn't exist anymore and hasn't for many, many decades. Quit living in the past and get educated to modern technology before you make statements that are decades old and hold no water in todays society or debate.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 12:35 PM   Lex said...
I'm glad to be a member. It's funny how there are still ignorant people out there who think humans have nothing to do with global warming. How does coal, and mercury and the smog and everything else created by it, along with all the other pollution humans create, not contribute to global warming? I had a friend say to me once, "but there was a hole above the New Zealand Ozone. Then it disappeared? If global warming isn't natural, where did it go?" It was such an ignorant comment, I was debating with him for hours on end. That does not prove global warming is natural, and even if it was, it does not prove we humans are not accelerating the process with all the garbage we put into the air.
Well, at least Sierra Club is doing something about it, and Fossil Fuel John M. Didn't get into office!

Reply 07/09/2009 at 12:35 PM   Seth said in reply to New England Environmentalist...
Very well written New England Environmentalist.

MSHA and state regulations are very strict... New methods of reclamation put old mine sites back to near natural state. I too believe that moving away from coal fired power plants is the way to go. However, if you don't burn coal until we develop clean, sustainable technologies then you all need to shut down your computers, turn off your lights and air conditioning, and pick up a book because you (yes, that's right YOU) are producing CO2 right now. Until we develop and implement new technologies we may as well use newer, cleaner coal technologies.

Campaign for; push for; and by all means fight for clean, sustainable technologies, but by all means keep an open mind.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 12:29 PM   rich said...
To all you bright wonders.Do you think the air in China isn't going to make it's way here you morons.When your paying 20 cents a kilowatt you will be wishing you had coal plants.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 12:28 PM   tom martinko said in reply to fred rinne...
Fred-because there isn't enough land in Nevada or that matter anywhere and never will be to install the amount of solar panels (or any renewables such as wind power) needed to displace even one large coal fired central generating station that day in and day out produces affordable, reliable energy that fuels the life style and economy that you and the American people have come to enjoy and take for granted. Instead of bitching and whining about coal fired power plants what you should be saying is "thank you" to the people and the companies who provide you this service. Like Jack Nicholson said in his epic role "you can't handle the truth". Everything you have, own or ever will have or own is because of them. Wake up you left wing liberals. You know not of what you speak. Oh the other reason is that even if it could be done you couldn't afford it. If you want to talk about an alternative to coal fired power plants that will work and is affordable then nuclear is the answer. Everything else is a waste of time and money.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 12:25 PM   tom amrtinko said in reply to Susan...
Susan-when in the heck do you get your facts (or I should say lies and misinformation)? Every coal plant has a diesel genrator for backup power? Are you goofy or what? Have you ever been to a coal plant? Have you seen the diesel generators that you speak of? Some may have a very small one to use to warm the plant up and get it running but that's it. Do you even know the slightest bit about what you speak? Several models show how to make switch to renewables. Who's model? Al Gores and the Sierra Club? All we need to do is build them. If it made economical sense it would be done already. It doesn't and probably never will. Sounds like you are a typical left wing, radical, Al Gore, Sierra Club following lamb who knows enough just be dangerous. Get educated. Get your facts straight before you spew your nonsense and misinformation that other such as yourself take as the truth. Based on your lack of understanding and information how can anyone take anything you say about this subject with any creditability. Based on what I've seen on this site about 99% of those who have written fall into your category.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 12:04 PM   fred rinne said...
I'm a big fan of the Black Rock Desert (now a National Conservation Area) in Nevada and I go there every summer, Burning Man or not. When a private consortium wanted to build a coal burning plant immediately to the south of my favorite desert, I was notified by folks from Burning Man, Friends of Black Rock/ High Rock and others who mounted a furious campaign to defeat the plant which featured information campaigns in places like Truckee, California which voted not to buy power from the proposed plant. Which begs the question: Why the hell isn't EVERYTHING in Nevada solar?

Reply 07/09/2009 at 11:45 AM   Joy said...
You guys rock!

It amazes me to no end how we've ignored the most abundant free energy available (the sun) in favor of polluting, wasteful, costly coal. Once again, American technological inertia and conservativism rear their head. May the push for common sense prevail enough to tip the scales.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 11:17 AM   tom martinko said in reply to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ...
davosil-what other state besides CA is bankrupt and can't pay their bills? So I'm a shmuck because I'm more educated and informed than you are on these issues. You have no clue to what reality really is. I'm very educated and informed in this area and have kids. It's my business to know and understand this stuff so for you to say I'm ignorant or uneducated in this area is just a way for you to try to discredit someone who is better educted and has more knowledge than you. Typical liberal, left wing tatic. I can list you just as many creditable scientist, etc who say and can show that climate change/global warming is a farce. It's All politics and pushed by the left wing, radical agenda. Do you have any clue who the Sierra Club truly is and their true agenda? Again when your electric bill doubles or triples and our economy goes down the tubes and unemployment reaches record levels in the next several years and none of the lies and half-trughts that Al Gore and the Sierra Club have fed you materialize (which none of what they predicted in 2000 has come to pass) only then you will say hey that guy was right. Until then you can bash all you want but you will need to live with the consequences of your actions and tell your kids, their kids and their kids kids that you made a horrible error in judgement. I like debating with you left wing liberals on subjects that I am very educated and informed on. Your responses just show me has idiotic and misguided you are.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 11:17 AM   Dawn W. said...
Thank you Sierra Club for all your tireless work to see America move beyond coal and other dirty, non-renewable energy sources. Every ton of CO2 that is prevented from entering our atmosphere is a blessing for us and our descendants. Dirty, non-renewable energy sources like coal are decimating our eco-systems and causing a myriad of health problems that will only further bloat our soaring health care costs. I live in Ohio. I have seen so many coal power plants built, and it does not stimulate the economy or improve the quality of life for anyone but the select few wealthy individuals who profit from this unsustainable, destructive energy source. I want to live to see a day when America runs on renewable energy and when Americans alter their lifestyles to conserve more and consume less. So thank you, Sierra Club, for helping make my dream 400 million tons more realistic.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 11:03 AM   Howard C. Lucas,MD said...
Coal power plants must be closed.Google- Dr. James E Hansen "Carbon Tax & 100% Dividend vs. Tax(cap) and Trade".This is transparent, honest and straight forward and returns the tax money to every citizen as a dividend as opposed to cap and trade which is a shell game paying the money to the fat cats on Wall Street.
Nuclear power must be developed for an abundant source of reliable clean power. The present light water reactors use only 1% of the uranium and call the remaining U238 and actinides nuclear waste. This waste can be completely used in generation IV fast neutron closed cycle reactors to provide 100 times as much electricity and leave lighter fision elements which can be used by industry. These are clean(no CO2), reliable and safe. Google - William Hannum [pdf] Smarter Use of Nuclear Waste. This was published in the December 2005 issue of "Scientific American".

Reply 07/09/2009 at 11:02 AM   Leila said...
I'm currently on an 8 week bike trip with Massachusetts Climate Summer, a project of Massachusetts Power Shift. We are biking with all of our gear across the state canvassing and raising awareness among citizens about repowering America with 100% clean electricity in the next decade. We fully support this cause - thanks Sierra Club!

Reply 07/09/2009 at 10:41 AM   Wendy Sands said...
I have asthma and I need to breathe clean air.

I used to work in a coal heated high school, and every morning I had to wipe down every flat surface with Mr. Clean and Bounty towels to rid my office of the black grime produced by the coal.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 10:24 AM   Roger J said in reply to New England Environmentalist...
I do not agree with New England Environmentalist that coal and nuclear energy are necessary to power "our energy hungry lifestyle". In the first place we are far behind Europe and Japan in efficiency. Traveling in the west in recent years, I saw very few houses with solar panels on the roofs, and many of the houses and hotels are still using high flush toilets in an area where water is scarce. If just a fraction of the money spent to promote and develop nuclear power had been spent on solar and wind and geothermal technology, we would already be well down the road to energy independence. But companies looking into those fields get bought up by centralized power suppliers who have no interest in developing alternative options, especially if they can be used locally or individually. They want the power systems to remain under central control in order to maintain a pricing monopoly. If we do finally develop alternative energy technology, no doubt those industries will have their own environmental issues, but it is hard for me to imagine they would be anything like what we must deal with from coal and nuclear. Think about this- We have been developing and building nuclear weapons and nuclear power for over 60 years and we still don't have a clue about what to do with the radioactive leavings.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 10:09 AM   Ruth Douglas Miller said...
It's a long hard fight--here in Kansas we thought we'd won and then the (new) governor signed a deal with the utility behind everyone's back. It's a great assurance to know Sierra Club won't give up and that plant can still be stopped. To halt global warming we must cut electricity production from coal in half (for starters), and cut our consumption overall by at least 25%. We CAN do it, and Sierra Club is such a critical player, to keep pushing and not giving up.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 09:55 AM   Ron Zamora said...
I just posted this on Facebook. For our dear Mother Earth's sake and for humankind's, we need to turn from coal & oil to clean energy sources ; solar & wind need to be researched & developed as viable, cost effective alternatives to our reliance on energy that pollutes and destroys.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 09:54 AM   attygirl said...
I am hugely disappointed with the Sierra Club. It's leaders have got to know the farce that is CO2 man made global warming. Even the EPA has a new 98 page report that goes through each module, including the erroneous, polical IPCC one, showing the problems with the data used, incomplete data, conjections that don't match the evidence, etc. The EPA intentionally suppressed this recent report. However it mirrors the findings of the senate environmental minority report; Over 750+ scientists, including numerous high level environmentalists (and former CO2 alarmists who now apologize), reveal this political farce. Scientists are coming out about how their jobs and funding were threatened if they spoke out against global warming/CO2. Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other countries are no longer supporting this theory and those with cap adn trade are trying to get rid of it due to the devasation it caused their economies. See W.St. J, 6/30/09 It drives me nuts that you refuse to deal with issues we can do something about - such as stopping the sewage flow into our ocean by cities, such as Santa Rosa, CA. Has the Sierra Club invested into one of Al Gores 24 companies in which he will reap billions through cap & trade - all at our expense. Cap & trade has not lowered cO2 emissions in Europe; See Jan 09 New Scientist - Lublock rails againt the economic devasation and farce that is cap and trade; he rails against wind power; We will be further dependent on foreign oil if this continues; solar farms are prohibited from being built b/c of environmental 'issues'; in addition to the unreliability and inconsistancy of wind power, it kills birds and is being fought; ethanol pollutes as much as gas; veggie oil is less efficient, need more to go shorter distance; electric cars will increase our need for electrical power; Why is it many environmental groups cease objecting if union labor will be involved? That should not have anything to do with the evaluation of a project. If Gore really believed what he says, he would not have purchased a residence in San Francisco in an area Gore claims will be flooding soon...... you have become nothing but a political organization, and not in a good way.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 09:47 AM   Susan said in reply to New England Environmentalist...
actually, the sierra club teamed up with unions and we're all teaming up with those in the green energy sector to bring about this change. yes, the relationships are a little complicated sometimes, but we have common goals, and it works.

several models show how we can make the switch to renewables, all depending on who you ask. right now, solar and wind can replace all our power if we would just build them, but it doesn't solve the other problem with electricity, a "reservoir" problem. with water, we have a reservoir system for when we're not pumping water. we don't have such a system of battery storage for electricity. it's something america should really work on, since we are leaders in battery technology, and we could use electric car batteries as a reservoir.

the traditonal (fossil fuel) power system relies on "baseload" energy, or energy that they say is available 24/7. coal considers itself baseload, although every coal plant also has a disel generator on hand for when demand is too high for the coal they have on supply--so much for coal's theory that coal is freedom from foreign oil!

geothermal would be a great source of 24/7 baseload power in the west, along the "ring of fire" where the magma there makes it much more efficient. of course, to drill for geothermal we'd need to lease the drills that are owned by natural gas/oil companies...not very easy to do. but potentially 0 carbon output and minimal impact on the environment.

on the east, gulf and great lakes, we should consider off-shore wind. in rural areas, we still need to take seriously replacing gasoline with hybrid cars, maybe hybrid bio-diesel. we need to do some serious research on bio-fuels that isn't tied to other monopolistic companies like monsanto and conagra. replacing all our tractors with hybrid bio-diesel and going organic, would bring complete security to our native food supply, no more foreign oil/gas for fertilizers or fuel to run our farms.

and to the point that others are making, the cheapest form of energy is the energy you didn't have to burn. micro-grid or smartgrid or a million other energy efficiency ideas would help us reduce our electricity use and make it cheaper. it's also the first thing we can do to shut down coal plants, as we have all the job training and tech that we need to be more energy efficient TODAY.

Reply 07/09/2009 at 09:45 AM   Stephanie Jones said...
My fiance and I started fighting the coal plants in Arkansas last year. One plant was finally defeated just a couple of weeks ago! We are proud to say that Arkansas is waking up to the idea of cleaner options. Our state already exports a lot of energy to other states and this plant would have exported as much as 85% of the electricity to other states. This is a sad thought that our legislators were willing to destroy our backyards for a few extra bucks despite the fact that our state reports millions of dollars in surplus of the budget each year! This is why we invented No New Coal Tees, a way to make our message heard and seen. It has been a fun experience working with schools and other organizations to help them make a visual impact at their rallies and other events. Using the profits from the sales of these shirts we were able to donate hundreds towards a small wind turbine which was erected in a community garden where everyone can see the symbol of renewable energy. (Sierra Club and other local organizations were able to raise thousands of dollars that made this symbol possible, and although our contribution was a drop in the pond, I am still glad we did it!)

Take a hint SWEPCO! Stay out of the Natural State!!!!

Reply 07/09/2009 at 09:37 AM  Show more comments...
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