May 8, 2008
Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102
Investments in New Coal Could Go Up in Smoke
Richmond, VA: Clean energy and environmental groups kick off a week of action today targeting corporations planning to invest in new coal. The groups will be holding events and attending the shareholder meetings of three major coal investors—Alliant Energy, Dominion Resources and Dynegy, Inc. to educate directors, investors and shareholders about the financial risks of investing in new coal.
"Companies around the world are realizing that going green can benefit both the environment and their bottom line," said Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club’s National Coal Campaign. "It’s time these companies open their eyes and help move America beyond coal toward a clean energy economy."
The week of action comes as regulatory, financial and public relations risks of investing in new coal continue to rise. A growing number of companies have announced they will no longer pursue investments in coal, and states across the country are beginning to reject new coal in favor of less risky energy development. Large financial investors are backing away from new coal plants and a recent report by the Interfaith Campaign on Corporate Responsibility cautions investors that coal can no longer assure reasonable returns on their investment.
New coal plants are one of the largest sources of global warming pollution, and with global warming regulations soon to be enacted, burning coal will become substantially more expensive and less profitable. Yet, companies like Dynegy, which plans to build more new coal-fired power plants than any other company in the country, are pushing forward without fully assessing the financial risks to its shareholders and ratepayers.
In addition to the future cost of carbon regulations, the current cost of building and operating a new coal plant is skyrocketing. As prices continue to rise, it is ratepayers and consumers who will bear the brunt as those costs are passed on with rate increases.
Investing in energy efficiency and renewable energies, like wind and solar, instead of new coal can increase the return on investment for shareholders, help decrease electricity rates for consumers and create jobs for hard working Americans. Recent studies by Innovest Strategic Value Investors and ECONorthwest have shown that investing in efficiency and clean energy can provide greater economic returns than investing in new coal plants—both for the company and our communities.
Shareholder meeting details:
Dominion Resources, Inc.
Friday, May 9
Contact: Kayti Wingfield, Sierra Club, 703-485-6498
Wednesday, May 14th
Contact: Mark Kresowik, Sierra Club, 319-621-7393
Thursday, May 15th
Contact: Jennifer Feyerherm, Sierra Club, 608-257-4994 or 608-695-5797 (cell)
Ryan Schryver, Clean Wisconsin, 608-251-7020 or 262-949-6436 (cell)