Thursday, April 19, 2012
Collard, 415.977.5619, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Hedges: 406-461-9546, email@example.com
Melissa Ahern, 509-358-7982, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Rehm: 206-354-3459, email@example.com
SIERRA CLUB LAUNCHES "COAL-FREE PSE" CAMPAIGN
Campaign Vows to Push
Puget Sound Energy to Quit its Coal Dependence
SEATTLE- Today the Sierra
Club launched a bold new campaign, "Coal-Free PSE," to push area
electric utility Puget Sound Energy beyond coal in Washington. After years of
promoting an image of being a clean energy provider, PSE’s dirty secret is that
more than 30% of its electricity in Washington comes from dirty coal.
“The Pacific Northwest is leading the
charge in the race for a clean energy economy with the Beyond Coal campaign’s
victories in the retirement of coal-fired power plants TransAlta in Washington and
Boardman in Oregon," said Bruce Nilles, Senior Campaign Director of the
Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign. "With the launch of our Coal-Free PSE
campaign, we urge Puget Sound Energy CEO Kimberly Harris to join thousands of
Washington residents in their commitment to end our dependence on dirty coal,” added Nilles.
Despite Puget Sound
Energy’s public commitment to providing clean and renewable energy, the utility
has been importing coal power from the Colstrip Generating
Facility in Montana, an old and dirty coal-fired plant in Montana
pollution has been harming neighboring landowners and ranchers for decades,
causing outcries from health professionals,” said Anne Hedges, Program Director for the Montana Environmental Information
Center, adding, “It is high time that Colstrip's owners, including the largest
owner, Puget Sound Energy, quit putting profits over public health and
campaign aims to mobilize Washington ratepayers to demonstrate an overwhelmingly
distaste for their hard-earned energy dollars being thrown away on propping up
an outdated, dirty coal-fired power plant like Colstrip.
Dr. Melissa Ahern, Associate Professor at
Washington State University, has spent the last five years
researching the effects of the coal mining industry on population health. "National studies continue to show that health care
impacts and costs from coal are greater than expected. Now we need to know
the specifics about the Colstrip plant,” said Dr. Ahern.
Eric Rehm, a
community activist from Bainbridge Island, co-founded Positive Energy, a
non-profit group which runs a community based residential energy efficiency
program in collaboration with PSE. “We want to work with PSE to create a clean
energy future in Washington through energy efficiency, conservation and
renewable energy generation,” Rehm said.
The first phase of Coal-Free
PSE will urge PSE and CEO Kimberly Harris to end its reliance on coal through a
grassroots petition drive kicking off today, letting PSE know that Washington
ratepayers are committed to clean energy solutions and moving beyond coal.