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Mary Anne Hitt's Posts

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Obama’s Legacy, the Climate Rally, and What It Means for Coal

My daughter Hazel is no stranger to rallies and public hearings. I've taken her to all sorts of events, because it's her future that’s at stake...and sometimes because no babysitters are available. But one event I am very excited to bring her to is the upcoming Forward on Climate rally in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, February 17. The chance to rally with tens of thousands of other Americans of all ages -- all who want serious action on climate disruption from President Obama -- well, that's something that no one should miss, no matter how young or old you are. …

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Clean Energy Continues to Break Records, Lead the Way

Here are two headlines from the past week that blew me away (no pun intended): #1- Wind was the top new energy source to come online in 2012. #2- "Renewable-energy capacity in the U.S. almost doubled from 2009 to 2012, helping reduce the nation's carbon-dioxide emissions last year to the lowest since 1994..." With every passing month, more polluting coal plants are  being retired -- like these plants in Minnesota, just announced last week -- and more clean energy continues to come online to replace it. The statistics from the American Wind Energy Association are phenomenal. There more than 60,000 …

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100 Days of Action for Climate, Clean Energy Kicks Off with Coast to Coast Events

In the two weeks since the Sierra Club launched our Obama Climate and Clean Energy Legacy campaign, Sierra Club volunteers, chapters, organizers, and allies have held more than 30 inspiring (and fun!) launch events nationwide. The events they organized from coast to coast kick off 100 Days of Action, from the Inauguration to Earth Day, calling on President Obama to take bold action on the many climate and clean energy decisions before his Administration in his second term. From Owensboro, Kentucky to Olympia, Washington and from happy hours to Martin Luther King Jr. Day marches, a movement is growing. Each …

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On Heels of Inaugural Address, Sierra Club Announces Coal Retirement Milestone

I was fired up by President Obama's remarks on climate and clean energy in his second inaugural address -- and gauging by the huge cheer that went up from the crowd, it sounded like the hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall were, too. The day after that inspiring call to action by our President, the Sierra Club is announcing a milestone in the steady progress we’ve been making for two years to tackle climate disruption by moving America beyond coal. Today, the Sierra Club and Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Company announced a landmark settlement that requires the …

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Becky: A Tribute to a Friend and a Hero

This column was co-written by Beyond Coal Director Mary Anne Hitt and National Program Director Sarah Hodgdon. Each week in our blogs, we celebrate the grassroots heroes of the fight for the planet. Today, we are joining forces to celebrate the life of an extraordinary hero and friend. Neither of us will ever forget where we were the moment we got the call that Becky Tarbotton had died in a freak swimming accident in Mexico. At that moment, we were assuredly among dozens of others around the country who were receiving similar phone calls, and who were sinking into stunned …

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New Campaign Calls for Climate, Clean Energy Leadership from President Obama

Today, the Sierra Club is launching a new campaign that lays out a clear roadmap for President Obama to take action on climate disruption and clean energy. As the President’s second term opens, millions of Americans are looking for real leadership on the climate crisis. The East Coast continues to clean up after Hurricane Sandy, last year was the hottest on record, much of the country is still mired in record drought – and the effects on American families and their pocketbooks are very real. When my daughter gets a little older and asks me what my generation did to …

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Moving Beyond Coal in 2012: By the Numbers

2012 has been a remarkable year. While millions of us were touched by the effects of coal pollution -- from contaminated waterways in Appalachia, to kids struggling with asthma near coal-fired power plants, to hurricanes and droughts and wildfires made worse by climate disruption -- thanks to the huge strides made by the grassroots movement that is moving America beyond coal, we have a fighting chance of turning the corner on all of these problems. While I could easily think of many inspiring, moving, and unforgettable victories from 2012 that were milestones in transitioning our country from coal to clean …

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New Soot Standard Will Protect Public Health, Environment

(click image to enlarge) As a mom, I can't imagine how scary it would be to watch your child struggle to breathe. That's why I'm so thankful that today the Environmental Protection Agency has announced new air quality standards for soot that will save thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Soot is one of the most deadly forms of air pollution, and these soot limits are especially important for kids, the elderly and people already suffering from respiratory ailments. Soot particles are released into the air by burning dirty fuels like coal. Soot is composed of dangerous metals and …

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Massive Crowds Turning Out to Oppose Coal Exports

"It's not our job in the Northwest to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a dying fossil fuel industry." That's what a former West Virginian, who now lives in Oregon, told federal officials this week at one of the many recent blockbuster public hearings on coal exports. Crowds have turned out by the thousands -- literally overflowing halls and waiting in line in the rain for hours, to speak in opposition to the coal industry's grand plans to export millions of tons of western US coal to Asia. I've been amazed, inspired, and fired up by the massive groundswell of opposition to …

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Ground-Breaking Solar Agreement Between LA and Nevada Tribe

Today Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed an agreement to purchase enough solar energy from Nevada's Moapa Band of Paiutes to power 105,000 Los Angeles homes. (That's him at the podium above making the announcement in front of a new array of solar panels at Occidental College). This ground-breaking agreement is great news for everyone involved. From the Moapa Band of Paiutes, who are building the solar farm on their land; to the residents of Los Angeles, who will reap the benefits of cleaner electricity; to all Americans demanding a transition to clean energy; we salute the effective grassroots organizing …

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