Bruce Nilles

Bruce Nilles is the Deputy Conservation Director of the Sierra Club and former director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, the largest component of Sierra Club's new Climate Recovery Partnerships. The Beyond Coal Campaign is working to reduce America's over reliance on coal, slash coal's contribution to global warming and other pollution woes, end destructive mining, and secure massive investments in clean energy alternatives. Bruce joined the Sierra Club in 2002. He previously worked as a staff attorney for Earthjustice's San Francisco office, and during the Clinton Administration as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington D.C. He received his J.D. and B.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

coal creeps up

The clock has started ticking on mountaintop removal mining permits

This blog post co-written by Bruce Nilles and Mary Anne Hitt, Director and Deputy Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. We’ve just learned that the clock has started ticking on more than 80 new mountaintop removal coal mining permits in Appalachia. We are told that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may start approving these permits within the next month — or even sooner. All this is according to a timeline set in an agreement between the EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Interior. According to that agreement, once the Army Corps has handed over …


Dynegy out of the new coal business

This is the weekly post from Bruce Nilles, director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. Three years ago Dynegy launched plans to partner with LS Power and become the largest new developer of coal-fired power plants.  Yesterday Dynegy officially terminated those plans, including selling its shares in a coal-fired power plant currently under construction Coal is again proving to be a bad investment.  Dynegy announced yesterday that the company is essentially going to lose $100 million as it sells its portion of the Texas Sandy Creek coal plant back to LS Power.  But they decided a $100 million loss was …

Don't get burned

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon: Time to walk the talk on coal

This post is co-written by Mark Kresowik, Corporate Responsibility Representative for the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon professes profound concern for our future.  He has made numerous statements about how his company supports strong action on global warming. He waxes eloquent about how JP Morgan Chase is committed to investments in clean energy and he wants policy makers to provide leadership on curbing emissions of global warming.    But Sierra Club’s diligent researchers have pulled back the curtain and uncovered that his rhetoric doesn’t match his company’s action.  JPMorgan Chase is pouring billions of dollars into …

taking a gander at clean energy

Michigan to Granholm: We want clean energy

Yesterday, on a beautiful summer day in Lansing, Michigan, more than 500 activists from all corners of the state lent their voices to a call for a massive investment in clean energy and moving the state beyond coal. Clean Energy Now, a coalition made up of over 40 environmentalist groups including Sierra Club, organized this Rally for Clean Energy Jobs to support Michigan’s clean energy future – and as a grassroots response to the proposal of new coal plants in Michigan. The rally speakers and activists in particular took aim at plans in Michigan to build at least six more …

not your grandfather's climate bill

The Climate Bill Shouldn’t Give Coal a Free Pass

Now that historic U.S. climate legislation – the American Clean Energy and Security Act – (ACES), has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate is debating its version of energy/climate legislation, let’s talk about what must be fixed before it gets to the President’s desk. Big Coal has long sought and enjoyed loopholes for their dirty industry – anything to keep the money rolling in as they avoid cleaning up. And now, over objections of our clean energy champions, this bill gives them another massive loophole that the Senate must correct. Although coal-fired power plants account for roughly a …

giving coal the cold shoulder

Stopping Blackstone Coal

Last week when we hit the 100th coal-fired plant abandoned or prevented in the U.S., someone asked me, “What’s next?” My answer came quickly: “It’s time to stop the next 100.” And so with that we’ve just launched a new campaign to persuade the Blackstone Group to invest in clean energy instead of dirty coal.  One of the 10 largest private equity firms, Blackstone now has more proposed coal-fired power plants than any other company in the U.S. Joining us in the campaign are a coalition of community groups, tribal organizations and student groups. Two of Blackstone’s proposed coal plants, …

Just getting started

A milestone: 100th coal plant stopped

As of today, 100 coal plants have been defeated or abandoned since the beginning of the coal rush. Late yesterday, news came down that Utah-based Intermountain Power Agency is abandoning plans for a third coal-fired generator in the state. This news comes as President Obama is at the G8 summit in Italy discussing action on global warming. As other countries like China say they will not act until the U.S. does, these 100 stopped plants are a sign from Americans. We are taking action against global warming, and it’s time to join us. This also comes just a week after …

Poverty near the “high hazard” coal ash sites

This is the weekly post from Bruce Nilles, director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. The public’s right-to-know scored a victory this week when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally released the list of the 44 coal ash sites deemed “high hazard.” This comes two weeks after a coalition of organizations including the Sierra Club filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding the release of the list. Since then we’ve been crunching some numbers to learn more this list of coal ash storage sites. First of all, we’ve put the 44 sites onto Google Maps so you can see …

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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