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I am proud to announce that the Beyond Coal movement is winning: as of today, the 100th coal plant since 2010 -- Portland coal plant in Mt. Bethel, PA -- has announced plans for retirement! Not only that, but our efforts have led to the equivalent of 11 million homes powered throughout the nation by clean energy!
This amazing milestone, no doubt one of many to come, represents the hard work of our allies and thousands and thousands of concerned residents, like Russell Seal of San Antonio. Russell, a pharmacist and Sierra Club activist, knew the true cost of a local dirty coal-fired power plant, after selling record amounts of asthma medication. He joined a committed group of local volunteers who worked in a large coalition that took their efforts neighborhood by neighborhood to craft a local energy solution.
This grassroots campaign led to an agreement to retire San Antonio's Deely coal plant and invest in a clean energy plan that would create 800 new jobs through new energy investments, including one of the largest solar power projects in American history, a project that will power 90,000 homes!
We're so thankful for your support in these fights across the country -- can you spread the word of our successes and get others involved?
We are winning as city by city, communities are standing up and saying no to coal and yes to clean energy. Public officials and energy utilities are realizing the economics and health problems caused by our addiction to coal just don't add up.1
Millie Manger joined the Beyond Coal campaign when she learned that Washington state's last coal plant, located near her family farm, could be connected to her asthma. People from all over the region joined together to share their stories and experiences with neighbors, health professionals, business people and elected leaders. Eventually with major grassroots efforts, Millie and all the parties worked out a plan to retire one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the country with strong job protections for the local workers while creating a new generation of renewable energy for the Northwest.
Coal-fired power plants across the country contribute to a host of health problems, including respiratory illnesses and asthma attacks, heart disease and cancer. Retirement of these 100 plants is estimated to prevent 2,042 premature deaths, 3,299 heart attacks and 33,053 asthma attacks, according to the Clean Air Task Force.
We as a nation no longer need to waste our precious resources subsidizing a dangerous commodity; we can instead develop energy that can create jobs while supporting our environment and health.
The Beyond Coal movement has so many hopeful stories likes those of Millie and Russell -- invite your friends and family to help write the next chapter as we shut the door on dirty coal and usher in an energy economy founded on clean energy!
Let's keep up the momentum!
Thank you for all you do for our environment,
Mary Anne Hitt
Beyond Coal, Sierra Club
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 New Report - Coal Use Shrinks while Clean Energy Expands Compass. January 23, 2012.