Plans for 150 New Coal Plants Scrapped -- Transition
to Clean Energy Picks Up Steam
Feb 20, 2011 - Virginia Cramer - sierraclub.org
Washington, DC: Purdue University has cancelled
plans for a new campus coal plant, making the
plant the 150th to be defeated or abandoned since
the beginning of the coal rush in 2001. Thanks
in part to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal
Campaign, in the last two years no new coal plants
have started construction and the industry has
announced the phase out of over 50 plants.
Purdue was the only university in the country
planning to build a new coal plant. At the same
time nearly a dozen other schools have committed
to ending their dependence on campus coal plants
by switching to cleaner sources of energy.
"The way people, businesses, governments
and schools think about energy has shifted. The
dirty coal status-quo is no longer acceptable," said
Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club’s
Beyond Coal Campaign. "It is clear that clean
energy technologies—ones that don’t
spew life-threatening pollution into our air and
water—are the way to a prosperous, secure
At the beginning of the coal rush more than 150
coal plants were slated for construction. Today
a majority of those projects have been defeated
or abandoned because of tremendous grassroots pressure,
rising costs and a slate of clean up requirements
expected from the Environmental Protection Agency.
As major sources of life-threatening soot, smog
and mercury pollution existing coal plants are
coming under increasing scrutiny. Activists with
the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign are
working on the ground in almost every state to
phase out outdated coal plants and transition to
cleaner, cheaper options for their area.
"The pollution from these coal plants is
making us sick, worsening asthma, stifling childhood
development and cutting short thousands of lives.
Phasing out coal is essential to cleaning up our
air and water, and protecting our families," said
Verena Owen volunteer chair of the Beyond Coal
Campaign. "Making the switch to clean energy,
like wind and solar, is good for our health, but
it will also create jobs which makes it good for
our economy too."
For more, visit www.sierraclub.org/coal .