Mary Anne Hitt

Mary Anne Hitt is director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, which is working to eliminate coal's contribution to global warming and repower the nation with clean energy.

Arizona: Fight for Clean Air and Clean Energy Inspires a Family of Activists

Kathy Mohr-Almeida and her daughter Anna (pictured at the right) – along with millions of others in Arizona and surrounding states – could breathe a little easier if  the Environmental Protection Agency steps up to enforce the Clean Air Act protections for Navajo Generating Station, one of the biggest polluters in Arizona. Kathy and Anna are superstar volunteers for Arizona Beyond Coal who are working to transition Arizona away from the Navajo Generating Station coal plant (NGS) and replace it with clean energy. The 2,250-megawatt NGS, near Page, Arizona, is the largest and dirtiest coal plant in the state. Today …

Defending Clean Energy in Ohio and Beyond

If you watched this week’s episode of Showtime’s climate series Years of Living Dangerously, you saw a fantastic piece by America Ferrera called “Against the Wind” that pierced the veil of the fossil fuel industry’s well-funded operation to try and dismantle state clean energy standards. The episode could not have been more timely, as that same relentless attack continues unfolding in real time this spring in statehouses around the U.S. One of the most pitched battles is taking place right now in Ohio. As the Years episode explained, many states require utilities to provide a certain amount of power from …

Will the next coal ash disaster be in your neighborhood?

Guess what – you might be living near a toxic coal ash dump that threatens your local water supply, without even knowing it. Today, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice are releasing a new report called “Dangerous Waters: America’s Coal Ash Crisis” that highlights some of the most unsafe coal ash sites in the nation. Imagine living next to an unlined waste pit that leaked arsenic, lead, mercury, and scads of other toxins into your local groundwater, streams and rivers. What’s more, imagine that those millions of gallons of this toxic sludge burst through its aging impoundment and fouled your drinking …

To Live Dangerously or Not to Live Dangerously? It’s Our Choice

What’s next? What can I do? Those are questions you might be pondering if you tuned into Years of Living Dangerously on Showtime this weekend, or if you’ve been watching online clips from the “Preacher’s Daughter” story that was featured on Sunday night. In the episode, actor Ian Somerhalder follows Anna Jane Joyner, a young woman trying to persuade her evangelical pastor father that climate disruption is real, while she is also a full-time climate activist and one of the real-life heroes working with me and thousands more to move beyond coal. I watched the episode with my family, and …

The Vampire, the Preacher’s Daughter, and Me: Behind the Scenes of the Years of Living Dangerously

This coming Sunday, May 4, Showtime will air the fourth episode in its Years of Living Dangerously climate series, which includes me and features the Beyond Coal Campaign. As the airing of the “Preacher’s Daughter” episode approaches, I keep thinking back on a particular, beautiful Blue Ridge summer day that I’ll never forget. As the Showtime cameras rolled, I shared the stage with actor Ian Somerhalder, activist Anna Jane Joyner, and leaders from Asheville, North Carolina, at a rally calling on Duke Energy to retire the nearby coal-fired power plant and replace it with clean energy. All three of us …

Supreme Court: One State’s Coal Pollution Not Allowed to Make Another State’s Families Sick

In a huge victory for public health, today the Supreme Court issued its opinion in a case considering the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution rule, which is designed to protect Americans from dangerous air pollution from coal-fired power plants. In a 6-2 decision, the court delivered a resounding victory for clean air and public health, affirming EPA’s authority to deliver a protection that will reduce soot and smog pollution from power plants in 28 states, improve air quality, and reduce life-threatening respiratory illnesses that affect millions of Americans. Air pollution from power plants doesn’t stop at the state line, and without …

Students Sit-In, Rally to Get Washington University to Cut Ties With Peabody Coal

If you’re looking for clean energy inspiration, we’ve had lots of it this past week, courtesy of a phenomenal group of Washington University (St. Louis) students who are holding a sit-in until the school cuts ties with Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company. For almost two weeks now, students have been holding a sit-in outside the school’s admissions office, and then over the weekend more than 400 students, alumni, and community members rallied on campus as well. Here is a first-hand account from Caitlin Lee, a WashU student, in her own words: For the last week, a group of …

Big Victory for Public Health – Court Upholds Mercury, Toxic Air Pollution Protections

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld limits on dangerous emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution from power plants. This was a big victory for clean air, clean water, and the health of our families. The court decision keeps in place the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) standard, which is on track to eliminate as much as 90 percent of the mercury and air toxics currently released into our air by coal-fired power plants. As the mom of a young daughter, I know that mercury pollution is of special …

Time for Congress to Act and Save Clean Energy Jobs

Today, the US Senate is casting a vote critical to the future of the U.S. wind industry. Wind power has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and the wind industry now employs more than 80,000 Americans and generates enough electricity to power 15 million homes. Wind is providing affordable, reliable electricity from coast to coast – in 2013 Iowa got 27 percent of its electricity from wind power, while South Dakota got 26 percent. Despite this momentum, wind power’s full potential continues to rest in the hands of members of Congress, including some with close ties to fossil …

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