Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Bruce Nilles' Posts

Comments

Coal-fired criticism and denial

Coal execs get slammed in House hearing

Several coal industry executives withstood some heat today during a hearing before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. "The Role of Coal in a New Energy Age" hearing featured a slate of four speakers who attempted to defend their industries -- with one denying anthropogenic global warming -as part of the clean energy future of the U.S.: Gregory Boyce, President and CEO, Peabody Energy Corporation Steven F. Leer, Chairman and CEO, Arch Coal, Inc. Preston Chiaro, Chief Executive for Energy and Minerals, Rio Tinto Michael Carey, President, Ohio Coal Association We had some folks tweeting from …

Comments

U.S. Abstains, South Africa Gets Burned

World Bank vote gives billions to coal

It's bad news for clean energy and our planet today, as the United States failed to follow its own global warming guidelines. CLARIFICATION - The World Bank today is set to approve a $3.75 billion loan - despite some countries' abstentions - to South African power utility Eskom to help build a 4,800 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Medupi. The funding would also facilitate plans for a second large coal plant in Kusile. The coal plants will be among the largest and most polluting worldwide. Though the U.S. is the single largest shareholder in the Bank, the U.S. abstained from …

Comments

There's an App for Crap

Coal industry unveils disturbing iPhone application

We've had some disturbing news come to us from the coal industry. It's appropriate that it comes to us on April Fool's Day, as it is a coal industry iPhone application that is designed to fool the American public about the devastating cost of coal. Watch this video from our Executive Director Michael Brune to learn more. While this iPhone app is a bit shocking, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised coming from an industry that, besides the coal carolers and the coal coloring books, also unveiled pro-coal cell phone ringtones last year. (We gave those ringtones a reality check …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

How the West is Winning Against Coal

There is so much good news coming out of the western U.S. these days on coal and clean energy. First up – another domino fell for the Blackstone Group. Blackstone had been funding the construction of three new coal-fired power plants in the U.S. (I've written about them before). Last month the River Hill plant in Pennsylvania was canceled - and now this week we saw the plans for Toquop change in a major way: Blackstone subsidiary Sithe Global announced they will now build the plant as "a 750-megawatt gas plant with a 100-mw photovoltaic solar plant." This will create …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Stop Government Funding of Coal

This post was co-written by Mark Kresowik, Corporate Accountability and Finance Representative for the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign. "How good will the business judgment of companies that make high-carbon choices now look in five, 10, 20 years, when it becomes clear that heavily polluting infrastructure has become deadly and must be phased out before the end of its useful life?" - Todd Stern, U.S. State Department Special Envoy on Climate Change This is the quote we have on our Beyond Coal Corporate Accountability and Finance page because it sums up the problem with funding coal plants. The only thing …

Read more: Politics

Comments

On March 15, Take Action to Stop Dumping Mine Waste Into Our Water

This post was co-written by Mary Anne Hitt, deputy director of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign. There is nothing clean about destroying homes and communities to get coal out of the ground. Mountaintop removal coal mining is a dirty secret in our nation's energy supply. More than 470 mountains in Appalachia have been destroyed by this process of detonating explosives to expose the thin layers of coal at the surface. Coal companies dump the resulting mining waste and debris in valleys, and they have filled and destroyed approximately 2,000 miles of streams to date.  As a result, we Appalachians …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Stop the Attacks on the Clean Air Act

A Senate vote is looming on a measure that would gut the Clean Air Act, proposed by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. The resolution's passage would give big polluters a bail out by blocking President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from taking action to limit global warming pollution - even from the biggest polluters like coal plants and oil refineries. Despite evidence that this measure was crafted by lobbyists who represent coal giants like Southern Company, Duke and Progress Energy, it is still gaining support in the Senate, and there are now similar measures in the House. Major industrial …

Comments

Coal Ash Stories Highlight the Problems

This post was co-written by Lyndsay Moseley, Associate Washington Representative for the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign. This week we had the privilege to listen in on a White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) conference call with citizen groups from across the country to share the concerns and priorities of citizens around the country who are directly impacted by coal ash disposal problems. Coal ash is the by-product of burning coal for power, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), working with the OMB, is preparing to draft new proposed rules to ensure the safe disposal of coal ash …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Using Coal Ash to Melt Ice?

Co-written by Lyndsay Moseley, Associate Washington Representative for the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign. On Thursday, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will start using coal ash to melt the thick ice on the Platte River in Omaha, Nebraska, to prevent ice jams and severe flooding. From the article: "The hope is that the dark ash will absorb the sun's energy and help 'rot' the ice so it breaks up into smaller chunks and washes downstream, Berndt said." Coal ash contains heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic and more – all of which are …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Save Winter – Stop the Oil Sands

Every day it seems as if we see another energy company trying to convince us of new ways to keep us tied to oil and coal. Yet these fuels always turn out to be dirtier and more expensive, especially when their environmental costs are considered. Liquid coal is one of these same old fossil fuels the industry touts as the next best thing for American energy, but the latest culprit in this pattern of dirty fuels purported to be the U.S. energy savior is "oil sands," a thick, black dirt derived from the soil under the great forests of Canada. …

Read more: Climate & Energy