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Mary Anne Hitt's Posts

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Big Win in Nevada on Clean Energy, Retiring Dirty Coal Power

There is big news out of Nevada that will echo around the nation. Late Monday night the Nevada Assembly passed a bill clearing the path to retire the polluting Reid Gardner coal plant. The bipartisan bill is now headed for an expected signature from Governor Brian Sandoval. For the Moapa Band of Paiutes and so many others in Nevada, today is a time for major celebration. Under Senate Bill 123, which is called the "NVision" plan, the Reid Gardner coal plant will retire earlier than planned – closing units 1-3 in 2014 instead of 2020, and unit 4 in 2017 …

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A Big Win for Clean Air in Pennsylvania – and Nationwide!

Coal pollution contains all sorts of nasty, dangerous things, but one of the worst pollutants is sulfur dioxide. Just five minutes of exposure to sulfur dioxide can lead to respiratory problems, difficulty breathing, and contribute to lung disease. So you can imagine the sigh of relief from Pennsylvanians with this major news: The Homer City Generating Station -- the largest source of sulfur dioxide pollution in the U.S. in 2010 - will now be subject to new, strong limits for this particularly dangerous pollutant. Up until now, only one of the coal plant's boilers had any ability to limit sulfur …

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Big New Investments in Wind Energy Across the Country and Around the World

After spending last weekend at the Heartland Coalfield Alliance's retreat in the Illinois coal basin region, I'm more inspired than ever. Listening to such amazing, committed people talk about their tireless work to move beyond coal was really exciting. These activists know the potential for clean energy in their region -- especially wind power. And there has been some blockbuster news about wind in recent days. Wind power is growing like gangbusters across the country, and employs more than 75,000 workers across 43 states. Just last week, Warren Buffett's Mid-American Energy Co. announced it will make a $1.9 billion investment …

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Minnesota’s Landmark Clean Energy Standard Charts Course Beyond Dirty Energy

Minnesota energy has begun a new chapter. Minnesota has taken a first step in outlining the next big leap forward in the state's sustainable energy future. Pushed by more than 60 environmental, labor, business, youth, and faith groups, the jobs omnibus bill -- expected to be signed by Governor Mark Dayton -- includes a Clean Energy and Jobs package that sets a standard of 1.5 percent solar by 2020 with a broader goal of reaching 10 percent by 2030. This is a great start for a state that is in position to lead the Midwest into the clean-energy economy. I remember …

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Appalachian Families Denied Clean Water Travel to Washington to Demand Action

Appalachian activists gather outside the Washington, D.C., Environmental Protection Agency office to demand an end to mountaintop removal coal mining. Elaine Tanner and her partner Jimmy Hall have both experienced, up close and personal, the destruction caused by mountaintop removal coal mining. The Kentucky natives are fighting a coal company they claim poisoned their well water. One of the company's mountaintop removal sites is right next to their home in Letcher County. "They destroyed our water," said Jimmy. "The Kentucky Department of Water tested the water of many wells in our area and found a toxic soup. They said the …

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More Than One Million Actions for Climate and Clean Energy in 100 Days

This week marked six months since Superstorm Sandy, and it was also the end of our 100 Days of Action for Climate and Clean Energy, which we kicked off when President Obama began his second term. In those 100 days, more than one million Americans from across the country attended large-scale rallies and local events, signed petitions, sent letters to decision-makers and used social media to engage friends and neighbors in fighting climate disruption. I'll let Aura Vasquez, a fantastic Beyond Coal organizer in Los Angeles, tell you more in this great video about the 100 days of action. Of …

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New Solar Farm Shows Clean Energy Can Be Compatible with Conservation Values

Today the Sierra Club welcomes the Antelope Valley Solar Projects in California, one of the largest planned solar projects in the U.S., as developer SunPower and owner MidAmerican Solar marked the start of major construction. The Sierra Club endorsed the project early on because it was planned and sited in a way that protected local plants and wildlife. The project location was chosen in strict accordance with conservation values, seeking to avoid harming wildlife or building new infrastructure. The projects are located on previously disturbed private land that did not have any threatened and endangered species. Although the project site is …

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Two More Victories in the Fight Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

While the fight to end mountaintop removal coal mining is still far from over, we are celebrating today's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on a massive mountaintop removal project, the Spruce Mine. The court affirmed that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority under the Clean Water Act to veto mountaintop removal coal mining permits after they've been issued. This is a major milestone in the fight to end the destructive practice of mountaintop removal mining. The Spruce Mine - the focus of this case - was the largest mountaintop removal permit ever proposed …

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Amazing Chicago Coal, Clean Air Activist Wins Goldman Environmental Prize

Every year the Goldman Environmental Prize committee selects an amazing group of winners from around the world to receive what is sometimes called the environmental Nobel prize - and I could not be more thrilled with their pick for North America this year: Kim Wasserman Nieto of Chicago, Illinois. Kim is a phenomenal environmental justice activist and mom from the Little Village neighborhood in Chicago. Her work with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) has been inspiring and ground-breaking. The Little Village community is primarily Latino, and is located next to one of the most notorious, polluting coal-fired power …

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Moapa to Lead Powerful, Symbolic Walk from Coal to Clean Energy

The 2012 Moapa Band of Paiutes "Walk from Coal to Clean Energy." Southern Nevada's Moapa Band of Paiutes are organizing a 16-mile "Walk from Coal to Clean Energy" on April 20, 2013 in concert with Earth Day. This walk will celebrate the tribe's efforts to retire the polluting Reid Gardner coal plant that adjoins their tribal lands, and also their success in developing the largest solar project on tribal lands in the nation, which will begin construction later this year. The walk will start at the coal plant and end at the solar site - a powerful symbol of change …

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