Intermountain Power's coal plant in Utah became the 100th coal plant to be abandoned or prevented since the 2001 rush by industry to build more than 100 new coal plants, the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign reported. In celebrating the milestone, they also noted that the move away from coal has brought new possibility—and new jobs—in the renewable energy sector, including wind, solar and geothermal.
Last year, for the first time, the wind industry created more new jobs than coal mining, and 42% of all new power-producing capacity last year came from wind. Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, says: “At the beginning of the coal rush in 2001, it seemed inevitable that as many as 150 new proposed coal plants would get built. Since then, we've seen an incredible change in the way people, businesses and governments—like Los Angeles—are thinking about energy, figuring out how to generate and use it more cleanly and efficiently. Coal is no longer a smart or cost-effective option.”
Beyond Coal has been in operation for six years, leading local coal plant fights, and getting the public informed and active. They've watched the grassroots movement against coal swell from a handful of activists to "thousands of grassroots volunteers," according to Verena Owen, volunteer chair of the Beyond Coal Campaign. The group credits their movement with keeping over 400 million tons of global warming pollution out of the air annually, not to mention asthma-inducing soot and smog and toxic mercury emissions.
SOURCE: Sierra Club