Sierra Club

Currents newsletter

Volume VI, #97
Jan 22, 2008

"We can’t simply build more generation assets to keep up. We’ve got to actually slow growth down in order to maintain low rates for everybody in the valley."

-- Tennessee Valley Authority vice president of energy efficiency and demand response, Joe Hoagland on the need for greater efficiency measures.

In this issue

1) Take Action: Boost the Economy with Clean Energy Tax Incentives!
2) Take Action: Look Before You Mine!
3) Study: Coal Ash Threatens Drinking Water
4) Energy: Southeastern Utilities Turn To Efficiency

1) Take Action: Boost the Economy with Clean Energy Tax Incentives!
Your elected members of congress will have the opportunity in the next few days to support clean energy tax incentives in the upcoming economic stimulus package!

This package is an opportunity to provide a boost to clean energy companies and consumers right now that will create green jobs, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and help curb global warming. It will also provide relief for many Americans who cannot afford their heating bills this winter, providing weatherization assistance to help lower their energy bills. 

Currents action alert arrow Urge your members to use this opportunity to promote renewable and efficient energy for businesses and households. Take action today!

2) Take Action: Look Before You Mine!
For over a decade, the government has used a one-size-fits-all opinion—that no coal mining operation anywhere in the country would ever harm any threatened or endangered species -- to approve an increase in devastating mountaintop removal mining. The fallacy of this blanket "biological opinion" is clear.

Increased mountaintop removal mining permitted by this opinion has already destroyed over 1,200 miles of streams, disrupted drinking water supplies, flooded communities and destroyed vital habitat.

Currents action alert arrow

Tell the government determine each mine's individual impact on communities and their environment before a permit is granted


3) Study: Coal Ash Threatens Drinking Water
A recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency has found that the cancer risk from coal ash is 900 times higher than what the Agency considers "acceptable." Each year burning coal creates over 129 million tons of coal ash. The ash, which is heavily contaminated with toxic metals such as arsenic and lead, has poisoned drinking water supplies around the nation, exposing millions of people to unsafe levels of these dangerous wastes.

Demand protection from toxic coal ash!

4) Energy: Southeastern Utilities Turn To Efficiency
The Tennessee Valley Authority has become the latest in a line of utilities that are focusing increasing attention on efficiency. Having realized that building new power plants is not a fiscally or politically wise move, TVA will invest $22 million this year to help lower the amount the energy used in Appalachia.

TVA's decision follows similar plans to increase efficiency by Duke Energy and Southern Company. While the companies' efficiency investments are a good first step, there is still tremendous efficiency potential that is waiting to be tapped.

Reach your full efficiency potential!


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