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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet


September 29, 2009

Contact:
Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102

Citizens Hold Events Nationwide to Clean Up Coal
Day of Action Calls for Strong Steps


Washington, DC: The Sierra Club today will hold dozens of events in 22 states to demand strong regulations to clean up coal. The events, taking place at mine sites, existing coal plants and coal ash impoundments, demonstrate the many problems still associated with coal use and show support for strong regulations to help clean up pollution.

"It is no secret that from coal ash and mining to soot and global warming pollution, coal is one of the dirtiest industries," said Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. "But instead of working to clean it up, the coal industry is trying to block common sense regulations, fighting for special treatment that would allow it to continue business as usual."

In spite of the contributions and hard work of employees in the coal industry, in its mines and power plants, the industry itself has invested very little in actually improving practices to protect communities and the environment. It has however spent millions on advertising to convince the American public that coal is clean, and millions more to fight against regulations that would require the industry to reduce air, water and other pollution. The industry has for years actively fought against cleaning up the existing coal fleet and improving mining practices.

This lack of action by the coal industry makes strong regulations vital to protect families and communities from coal’s dangerous side effects.

"We need rules that cover all pollution fairly—no exemptions, no bailouts and no special treatment for coal," said Mary Anne Hitt, deputy director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. "Such rules will put us on a path to cleaner technology that boosts economic growth, creates jobs and protects communities and the planet."

For a list of today’s events visit: www.sierraclub.org/bigpicture 

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