Plant Robert W. Scherer
Last week I had the opportunity to tour Georgia Power’s Plant Scherer, near Macon. Georgia has the honor of owning the coal fired power plant with the single largest point source of carbon dioxide emissions in North America, emitting 27,231,087 tons annually (EIA 2007). The plant is enormous, with 4 units each producing approximately 880 MW of electricity for a total of 3520 MW from the site. Each unit is owned by a confusing conglomeration of entities with half of the electricity being exported out of state.
Named for Robert W. Scherer, former chairman and chief executive officer of Georgia Power, the $2.1 billion facility is a joint venture of Oglethorpe Power Corporation, Georgia Power Company, Florida Power & Light, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, Gulf Power (Florida), Jacksonville Electric Authority, and Dalton Utilities. The facility was built in phases with the first unit completed in 1982 and the final unit completed in 1987. You will note that these dates are well after the 1977 Clean Air Act was adopted into law. Although the brochures that we were given on the tour says that Plant Scherer installed pollution control equipment and incorporates “strict environmental standards” as required by law, Southern Company was sued by the Department of Justice due to Clean Air Act violations.
The history regarding coal fired power plants avoiding compliance with the Clean Air Act is long and sordid, suffice it to say that Southern Company resisted installation for over a decade. However, finally, Southern Company is in the process of installing proper pollution control equipment as required by recently adopted CAIR regulations (Clean Air Implementation Rule) that the Environmental Protection Agency requires. While on tour at Plant Scherer we saw actual construction taking place for this new pollution control equipment. The 1000 ft. all stacks cannot be modified for use with the new equipment. When you see them (the tall narrow stacks) from the road as you drive by a power plant will remain in place even after the new equipment is installed as their removal is prohibitively expensive.
Plant Scherer smoke stack (where massive pollution is dispersed currently):
Cranes provide proof of new pollution control equipment under construction:
Rail cars dump coal into huge piles:
Picture of carbon dioxide capture and sequestration:
Sierra Club Meetings
Sierra Club April Events
Atlanta's Sustainable Building Ordinance Lunch 'N Learn
Thursday April 23rd 12 - 1 p.m.
Where: Peachtree Branch Library, 1315 Peachtree St., Atlanta GA 30309
Townsend Bailey, VP for Daimespoint (management entity for SustainableAtlanta.org) will provide us will with details about this progressive ordinance, one of the best in the country, which requires all new commercial construction in Atlanta be LEED certified. Townsend will discuss the details of the ordinance which drives Atlanta towards sustainability, what the critics are saying, and what you can do to help ensure its passage. Click here to RSVP or RSVP to Seandra Rawls at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earth Day Creation Care Celebration
Sunday April 26th 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, 407 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30312
Join Seandra Rawls and energy committee volunteers as they educate church members about our energy campaign, proposed coal plants for Georgia, and encourage members to reduce their personal energy usage by swapping a regular light bulb for a CFL (compact florescent lightbulb). Volunteer to help pass out bulbs and related materials, click here to RSVP or RSVP to Seandra Rawls at email@example.com.
Other Environmental Events
Women Leading Change Conference
The 9th Annual Phenomenal Women’s Conference
Thursday April 23rd 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: Kennesaw State University, 3333 Busbee Drive, NE, Kennesaw GA 30144
The entire conference is an inspirational look at women’s contributions to social change with keynote addresses from Lisa Borders, President of the Atlanta City Council and affordable housing advocate; and Kelly Dolan, Director of the Susan G Komen for the Cure, and others. Join Chapter Director Patty Durand for a 2 p.m. workshop titled Women’s Impact on the Environmental Movement, where you will learn about the amazing contributions of women like Rosalie Barrie, Diane Wilson, Wangari Maathai, Rachel Carson and more.
The Future of Energy Careers Forum
Thursday April 23rd 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Where: Centergy Building in Midtown, 75 5th Street Atlanta GA
Interested in the future of Energy and green jobs in the Energy field? Join CareerEco as they host renowned energy expert Dr. Jay Hakes to share his knowledge about the Energy markets, insights about the future of energy, and stories from his White House days in the Department of Energy. Jay Hakes will highlight information from his book, A Declaration of Energy Independence (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., July, 2008), and a book signing will follow. Event fee $20 in advance, $30 at the door. Click here to register.
The South's Recovery: Making It Accountable and Green
Good Jobs First Recovery Act Conference
Thursday April 30th 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: Atlanta Westin Peachtree Plaza
Three national speakers will discuss these topics:
1. Modernizing Unemployment Insurance: Rick McHugh, staff attorney for the National Employment Law Project, will speak on how the Recovery Act uses $40 billion to encourage states to modernize their UI systems and make America's safety net system work better for women, part-time and low-wage workers
2. Building the Green Economy: Ron Ruggiero, Field Director for the Apollo Alliance, will speak on the Recovery Act's $50 billion boost for energy efficiency, weatherization, retrofitting public buildings, green-collar skills training and other emerging "green economy" opportunities.
3. Smart Transportation Infrastructure: Will Schroeer, state policy director for Smart Growth America, will speak on SGA's toolkit resources for shaping $45 billion in Recovery Act dollars to favor "fix it first" in existing neighborhoods, new and better public transit service, and other smart growth solutions.
To register and find more information click here.
Patty Durand, State Director
Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club
1401 Peachtree Street Suite 345
Atlanta GA 30309
404-607-1262 x 226