FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
Claire Orphan, Sierra Club 312.251.1680 x146,
Alma, WI – Today, Dairyland Power Cooperative announced that it will cease burning coal in three of the six units at its Alma Station by the end of the month. This news comes as Dairyland is making new investments in low cost clean energy, and speeds up a transition that is occurring across the United States from dirty coal power to a clean energy future.
"This is a tremendous victory for the health of Wisconsin and Minnesota residents," said Bruce Nilles, Senior Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. "The citizens of Alma have a much-deserved victory for the health of their families and for the future of clean energy solutions in Wisconsin and across the county."
Specifically, Dairyland will no longer burn coal at three of its six coal-burning units located on the Mississippi River, just north of La Crosse. This transition will help protect the health of residents on both sides of the Mississippi River as coal pollution has been linked to asthma attacks, heart disease and birth defects. This transition will also help protect the pocketbooks of Wisconsin and Minnesota residents because it will reduce the amount of money that is being sent out of state to buy increasingly expensive coal.
“Alma’s three antiquated coal units are good examples of many coal units in Wisconsin – aging coal plants that are ready to retire. This move away from coal will allow workers to transition to the safer and more sustainable family-wage jobs that will be created by developing clean energy to phase out coal,” explains Jennifer Feyerherm, Wisconsin Organizer for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “Clean energy is already creating millions of jobs across the country and is one of the few bright spots in the American economy.”
Last year, these three Alma units burned 13,915 tons of coal. With Dairyland’s commitment to stop burning coal at these units, downwind residents will avoid breathing the dangerous pollution that comes from burning coal, and eliminate the need to manage the resulting coal ash.
The retirement of these three units brings the Dairyland plant closer to becoming the next on the list of 88 coal plants defeated or announced for retirement nationwide since January 1, 2010: www.beyondcoal.org