December 22, 2008
Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102
2008: New Energy for America Trumps Coal
Washington, D.C.: In 2008, plans for 24 coal-fired power plants were defeated or abandoned, laying the groundwork for fundamental change in the way the U.S. rebuilds and repowers itself. If built, these 24 proposed coal plants would have emitted more than 76 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Add that to the eight million tons of carbon dioxide kept in the ground in 2008 by preventing destructive mining and the progress made in the fight against global warming becomes clear.
Read the 2008 highlights and get our take on what could be the hottest fights of 2009 here.
In 2001 the Bush-Cheney Energy Plan included building over 150 new, dirty coal-fired power plants. Since then 82 of these proposals have been defeated or abandoned, and dozens more have been delayed or sent back to the drawing board for failing to meet minimum pollution standards.
Public opposition, rising costs, increasing financial risks, and concerns over future carbon regulations all played a significant role in shifting investments away from coal and into clean energy technologies. Through the Clean Slate campaign the Sierra Club will mobilize its activists to continue that shift by urging the Obama administration to jumpstart a clean energy economy.
These shifting investments have led to a 20% increase in new geothermal projects under development in the U.S. (1), and record expansion in the wind industry. More than 50% of the wind components for the record number of wind projects under construction are now being made right here in America, providing 9,000 much needed jobs.(2)
With plans to build more than 80 new coal-fired power plants still in the works, the coal rush is far from over. But the significant progress made in 2008 has started the shift to a cleaner, healthier, more secure energy future.
Download a complete list of the 24 coal plants defeated or abandoned here.