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Bruce Nilles' Posts

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From the Senate to the WV coalfields, a pivotal week for mountaintop removal

This post was co-written by Bruce Nilles and Mary Anne Hitt, director and deputy director, respectively, of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign. This has been a historic and game-changing week in the fight to end mountaintop removal. We will undoubtedly look back on the events of the past few days as a major turning point in the struggle to end this incredibly destructive form of coal mining. There has never been a more important time to make your voice heard, and we hope you will join us. The most timely news is today's historic hearing on Capitol Hill: "The Impacts …

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Coal ash sites kept secret, while industry works to prevent regulations

This week’s blog post is co-written by Mary Anne Hitt, deputy director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. If you lived near a dump site where the hazardous waste was so toxic it could increase your cancer risk to as high as a staggering 1 in 50, wouldn’t you want to know about it? What if there was one near your child’s school, but you had no way of knowing about it because the list of the most dangerous sites was being kept secret? Well, it turns out there are dozens of such sites across the nation, and our …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Mixed bag on mountaintop-removal mining decision from Obama sdministration

This post was co-written by Bruce Nilles and Mary Anne Hitt, director and deputy director, respectively, of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign. Today the Obama Administration announced steps to end the fast-tracking of certain mountaintop removal coal mine permits and add tougher enforcement in Appalachia, important steps that -- with additional actions -- could greatly reduce the devastation to communities, waterways, and mountains. However, these new policies alone will not necessarily improve conditions in Appalachia unless additional steps are taken and enforcement is stepped up significantly, and hundreds of mountains remain in peril. That is why the Sierra Club …

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'Green' lines for 'clean' coal?

We need responsible planning for electrical transmission lines

In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of activity surrounding new transmission lines. With hearings and legislation in Washington, D.C. and multi-state transmission corridor projects on the drawing board, there are a lot of questions. Are they needed? Can low-carbon generation be met otherwise? Is the project just an excuse to expand the reach of coal-fired power plants rather than supporting a clean energy project? These are important questions, and last week the Sierra Club and 25 other environmental organizations laid out our vision for how to reform federal electric transmission policy to help promote a clean energy future …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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What it means for the U.S. to lead again

International mercury pact shows that India and China will follow our lead

The news that the Obama administration is on board with an international pact to significantly decrease mercury use is fantastic for those of us committed to switching from dirty coal power to clean, renewable energy sources. This is a bold step for the U.S. -- one that is a long-time coming for coal-fired power plants. Coal plants are one of the largest sources of man-made mercury pollution in the U.S. Mercury pollution causes brain damage and other developmental problems in unborn children and infants, and it has been linked to a greater risk of coronary heart disease in men. A …

Read more: Uncategorized