Guest Blog: Researchers recently confirmed that Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, has been funding dozens of climate denial groups, including the “Dr. Evil” mastermind behind a number of vicious, over-the-top attacks against the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Power Plan. The latest revelations from Peabody’s bankruptcy court documents show the unprecedented extent to which big polluters like Peabody went to subvert climate action.
The Environmental Protection Agency is currently taking comments on updates to the Regional Haze Rule. Click here and let EPA know that you want a stronger Regional Haze Rule to protect air quality in national parks and wilderness areas in the Southeast – including our nation’s most visited national park- The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If our air isn’t clean, our communities can’t be healthy.
I grew up just outside Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the gateway community to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where my dad worked as the chief scientist. Growing up in the Smokies, clean air was essential to the health of the national park, visitors and local residents, and the economy. But on some summer days growing up, although you were in one of our nation’s crown jewel national parks, it was unhealthy to go on a hike, and you couldn’t see the next ridgeline, due to air pollution. Much of that pollution was coming from old, outdated coal-fired power plants nearby.
We weren’t alone – national parks and other special places around the country suffer from high rates of air pollution worse on some days than the pollution in our biggest cities. Why are our parks and communities suffering from this pollution?
This is a guest post originally written by Robin W. Smith for the SmithEnvironment Blog. Smith is a lawyer with more than 25 years of experience in environmental law and policy. Before starting a private environmental law and consulting firm in 2013, Smith served as Assistant Secretary for Environment at the North Carolina Department of [...]
Conservatives strongly support clean energy. The strongest reasons why conservatives support clean energy include less pollution, more innovation and greater independence. “Voters, including Conservative Republicans, think clean energy keeps us healthier, safer, and more prosperous,” says the ClearPath results headline. When asked if “we should accelerate the growth of clean energy so that America can have cleaner, healthier air and less pollution at home,” some 91% of voters supported the statement.
In today’s world of heightened political theatre, it’s hard to be surprised anymore. Yesterday, however, the Supreme Court surprised many by agreeing to stay implementation of the Clean Power Plan before the review by the federal appeals court on the merits of the case.
The Supreme Court’s decision comes after a January 21st decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to deny the request for a stay by the coal industry and coal-dependent states. What’s most surprising is that the Supreme Court has never before halted implementation and compliance efforts for a regulation that is still awaiting review by a federal appeals court. Ultimately, the movement towards creating a cleaner electric generating sector will continue as utilities respond to market realities and customer demand for cheaper, cleaner energy sources.
As we move into 2016, we continue our look back at where our Southeastern utilities are in their movement away from coal-fired power. This blog will focus on Duke Energy’s coal-plant operations in the Carolinas and Florida. Although Duke Energy operates coal-fired power plants outside of the Southeast, for the purposes of this blog, we will focus on those plants that are located in our region. Duke Energy owns coal plants in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Duke was one of the earliest utilities in our region to begin reducing its reliance on coal-fired power, beginning with the retirements in 2011 of Units 1-4 (210 MW) at its Cliffside Steam Station, all three units at its Weatherspoon plant (171 MW) and the last two coal units at its Cape Fear plant (316 MW).
In the 2015 Southeast Coal Roundup blog series, we are happy to report that the transition away from coal in the Southeast continues – cleaning up our air, water and atmosphere and leaving room for development of more renewable energy generation resources and more robust implementation of energy efficiency measures. Retiring and removing these old, dirty coal units from service will help to improve Southerners’ way of life by improving the overall public health and saving ratepayers from bearing the burden of expensive coal plant retrofit investments. Our first blog in the series covered the Tennessee Valley Authority’s movement away from coal. Now gather around the campfire to learn about Southern Company’s coal fleet.
As 2015 draws to a close, we wanted to update you on where our major Southeastern utilities are in terms of decreasing their reliance on dirty, coal-fired power. This blog series is following up on a previous series in 2013. (You can view our previous Southeast Coal Roundup blogs here – Tennessee Valley Authority, Southern [...]
Between the climate talks about to start in Paris and the EPA hearing on aspects of the Clean Power Plan in Atlanta this week, there’s been a lot of talk about climate and carbon. But whether you think limiting carbon emissions is important or not, there are plenty of other reasons to phase out Georgia [...]
Thomas Cmar is an attorney with Earthjustice’s Coal program, based in Chicago, IL. This article was reposted with Earthjustice’s permission. Read the original post here. Read SACE’s statement here. We don’t use phones, drive cars or fly airplanes that were built based on 1982 safety standards, so why should we allow power plants to dump [...]