Climate Change and Our Health – Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Communities

Just as we march to preserve our right to vote and to ensure that our children have access to good schools and a quality education, we also march to preserve our rights to clean air, clean water and to communities less impacted by climate change. That is why I applaud President Obama’s introduction of the Clean Power Plan and it’s focus on ensuring everyone will benefit as we transition to a clean energy economy.

Oh Say Can You See? Air Pollution and the Smoky Mountains

Back in 1990, average visibility in the Smoky Mountains was just 25 miles. Since then, reductions in air pollution have made it possible for visitors to see as far as 46 miles. In the absence of any air pollution, however, visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be able to see a whopping [...]

Final Clean Power Plan Safeguards Public Health and Spurs Clean Energy Growth

On Monday, President Obama announced the release of the finalized Clean Power Plan, our nation’s first regulations to limit carbon pollution from existing fossil-fueled power plants. The Clean Power Plan, as crafted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets achievable carbon pollution reduction goals for each state, based on the unique energy mix currently serving the power needs of each state.

This historic action will mean a huge boon to public health. Along with reducing climate-change causing carbon pollution, the Clean Power Plan will also reduce other harmful pollution from coal plants resulting in prevention of 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks in children and 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays due to illness.

In Case You Missed It, There’s a Clean Energy Jobs Boom in Tennessee

Clean energy means different things to different people. Some might picture suburban rooftops adorned in sparkly solar panels on a bright summer day. Others might envision an idyllic green-grass, blue-sky pasture framing an expanse of pearly white wind turbines. However, for many Tennesseans, clean energy means a rewarding career with above-average pay. A recent statewide [...]

Can we talk? Here’s the conversation African Americans need to have about climate change

This guest post, by Danielle Hilton and Seandra Pope, was originally published on Grist on July 8. You can see the original post here. Last year, the African-American author and commentator Charles D. Ellison asked, “Where’s the Black political conversation on climate change?” Now that conversation is happening, but it’s not the one we need. [...]

Supreme Court Mercury Decision Not a Real Game Changer

In a close 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States sent the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule back to a lower court for review. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion, which hinged on an interpretation of administrative law requirements and did not overturn EPA’s ability to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants.

While the Court did not overturn EPA’s analysis and conclusion that public health benefits of the MATS rule vastly outweigh the costs to the coal and oil industry, it did find that EPA should have first considered whether it was appropriate to regulate power plants under the Clean Air Act’s hazardous air pollution safeguards.

Google Announces New Data Center Located at Old Coal Plant Site!

Recently, Google announced its plans to open its 14th data center – this new one in Northern Alabama. The internet giant will be building the data center inside the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Widows Creek coal plant, which is set to retire . Google will begin construction in 2016 and is working with TVA to ensure that the data center is powered by renewable energy resources. The data center will take advantage of the existing transmission lines at the plant to bring in renewable energy.

PSC’s ‘Misplaced Priorities’ Lead to Higher Utility Bills for Alabamians

This guest post by Dr. Stacie Propst, executive director of GASP, was originally published on GASP’s website on May 28, 2015. A report titled “What Public Service? How the Alabama Public Service Commission’s misplaced priorities put utility profits over people” was released last week by Greater Birmingham Ministries. GASP has been seeking transparency at the [...]

Citizens slam Duke for coal ash pollution at shareholder meeting

On May 7, Duke held its annual shareholder meeting outside its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Like most publicly-traded corporations, Duke tried to put on a “dog and pony show” to excite investors and financial media about the prospects for Duke’s future. Instead, Duke’s CEO Lynn Good was interrupted by vocal protests and forced again [...]

Earthjustice: BIG COAL CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP

Lisa Evans is an attorney specializing in hazardous waste law. Ms. Evans has been active in hazardous waste litigation and advocacy for over 25 years. Since 2006, she has been a senior administrative counsel for Earthjustice. Lisa’s blog was originally posted here. ************************* You have to acknowledge the tenacity of Rep. David McKinley (R, WV). [...]