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.

Protecting Americans from Power Plant Pollution

On September 20, the Environmental Protection Agency will release new safeguards against carbon pollution that, if expectations are on target, will confirm something investors, governors, community leaders, and everyday Americans have been saying for a decade – in the 21st century, it just doesn’t make sense to build new coal-fired power plants. To be specific, we’ve said that 179 times. Since 2002, an unprecedented national network of more than 100 organizations and tens of thousands of volunteers has stopped the construction of 179 proposed coal-fired power plants across the U.S. This happened in red states and blue states, under the …

Kentucky’s Coal Challenges – Public Health, Clean Water, and Clean Air

Guest column by Heather Moyer, Sierra Club This week’s column focuses on some big coal-related news items out of the Bluegrass State, where some inspiring Beyond Coal activists are making waves. First, some good news: In a victory for clean water and public health, late yesterday a Kentucky circuit court overruled a lax permit that allowed Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) to dump large amounts of mercury, arsenic  and other pollutants into the Ohio River from its Trimble County Generating Station coal-fired plant. That good decision news comes along with a bad one: A Kentucky judge just ruled that a …

“Everything is Connected” – The People vs. Coal Exports in the Northwest

In recent days, there were new developments in the fight against Northwest coal exports that stopped me in my tracks. Last week, the news broke that the official review of the largest proposed coal export terminal in Washington State will be unprecedented in scope, and will include not only the health and environmental effects of the project, but also the climate impacts of burning the coal in Asia. This announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and Whatcom County comes after a blockbuster comment period on the project, where 10,000 people attended standing-room-only …

UGA Students, Community Take a Stand Against Campus Coal

Nationwide, college students continue to take the lead on climate action. From leading divestment campaigns, to urging their schools to move beyond dirty fuels, this generation of students is full of truly inspiring leaders. This week was no different down at the University of Georgia, where close to 50 UGA students, alumni, and local community members packed a public hearing on the school’s on-campus coal-fired boiler. “For four years, students at UGA have been asking the administration to be a leader in clean energy development and retire the outdated on-campus coal-fired steam boiler that threatens our health,” said David Littman, …

Protecting Our Water from Coal Pollution

Think about this: Have you spent a day out on the water this summer? Swimming? Fishing? Boating? Well believe it or not, for decades, power plants have been allowed to dump toxic pollution into our nation’s waterways, with almost no limits. Coal plants have become by far the largest source of toxic water pollution in the country! If you’re like me and love to take your family swimming, fishing, and boating, you know how much is at stake. (Click the graphic at the left to see more details) Today the Sierra Club joined a coalition in releasing a report (PDF) …

Activist Profile: National Christian Denomination Stands Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

One of the best parts of my work is that I get to be inspired, every day, by the stories of people who are taking action – and taking leadership – to rein in coal pollution and move America to clean energy. Heather Moyer is one of those inspiring people, and she is also a writing partner with me on my columns every week. I’m so excited to hand the blog over to her today for a guest post, to share some great news about an important recent victory she lead in the struggle to end mountaintop removal coal mining. …

Speaking Out for Clean Water Protections

Today was a great day for clean water. We saw more than 100 activists turn out at an Environmental Protection Agency public hearing to support strong water pollution standards. We heard personal stories of families living in the shadow of coal plants who have been directly affected by toxic water pollution from power plants.  We listened to community leaders from across the nation make moving, powerful requests of EPA to finalize strong, meaningful standards that will protect their health, their families, and their homes. Believe it or not, for decades, power plants have been allowed to dump toxic pollution into …

It’s Past Time to Confirm EPA Chief Nominee Gina McCarthy

Patience is wearing thin. For more than three months, Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency has been stuck in limbo due to procedural stalling tactics in the Senate. That’s why the Sierra Club has released two ads that target specific senators, asking them to be a part of the solution and support Gina McCarthy. The ads, released in Arizona and Ohio, call on supporters of clean air and water to contact their senators and ask them to end the gridlock in Washington by moving forward with Gina McCarthy’s confirmation. Watch our Arizona and Ohio ads. Lack …

What Obama’s Climate Announcement Means for Coal and Clean Energy

If you’re reading this post, then you are part of the last generation of people who will have the chance to stop runaway climate disruption. Coal-fired power plants are the nation’s single biggest source of the carbon pollution that threatens our kids’ future, and today President Obama made an announcement that puts us a big step closer to turning the corner on climate change – and has big implications for coal and clean energy. Today, as the centerpiece of his roadmap for tackling the climate crisis, President Obama announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will issue carbon pollution standards for …