Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Contributors

Comments

The EPA Must Protect Our Water From Coal Pollution

Here's a pretty shocking fact: While many of us know that coal-fired power plants create significant air pollution, it turns out they're one of our biggest water polluters, too. In fact, as we've developed technologies that take more toxins like mercury out of coal plant smokestacks, that pollution isn't just disappearing. Much of it is ending up in the water, instead, and those pollution levels are on the rise. Fortunately, our Environmental Protection Agency can do something about it. That's right - the same power plants that are causing asthma and heart attacks with their soot and wrecking our climate …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Solar cooperative gets panels on 1 in 10 roofs in Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of DC

What began as a group of neighbors hoping to reduce their impact on global warming has since become a major force for solar advocacy in Washington, DC. The Mount Pleasant Solar Cooperative was started by two teenage boys who wanted to make solar power convenient and affordable through a bulk-purchase program. Along the way, the cooperatives new members realized that buying power wasn’t enough, and sought out changes in the district’s energy policies.  Today the Mount Pleasant Solar Cooperative has helped to get solar panels on over 10 percent of the homes in the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood and has grown …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Are We Winning the Clean vs. Dirty Energy Battle?

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” -Thomas Edison, 1931 I’ve been doing just about all I can for the last 10 years to help build the climate movement. For virtually all of that time I’ve done so without much hope that we can defeat Dirty Coal, Oil and Gas in enough time to prevent massive climate disruption. In all honesty, many times I’ve felt that I was doing this work mainly to be able …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

“The Era of Coal is Over”: Los Angeles Will Move Beyond Coal by 2025

  Today, after a three-year campaign by tens of thousands across the city, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined our L.A. Beyond Coal activists to publicly announce this blockbuster news: L.A. will stop using coal by 2025. "The era of coal is over," said Mayor Villaraigosa, when he first broke the news earlier this week.  Villaraigosa was joined by Al Gore, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune, California businessman Tom Steyer, and allies from across the city on March 22 to make the announcement. This is a groundbreaking decision, a historic victory that catapults LA and Villaraigosa to the front of …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Celebrating a Huge Offshore Wind Victory in Maryland

The winds of change brought some great progress to Maryland this week when the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 passed through both houses of the legislature. The offshore wind bill has been championed from the start by Governor Martin O'Malley, who stands ready to sign the bill into law. This is a huge victory that is nationally significant for two reasons. First, it could well be the tipping point that allows us to finally tap the massive offshore wind potential off the East Coast. Second, it will ensure historically underrepresented minority groups and small businesses will benefit from …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Two Ways Americans May Get More Ownership of their Energy Future

Three years ago, the prospects for Americans to own their energy future seemed relatively bleak.   There were almost no replicable models for doing community-based energy projects or investment, despite falling costs and technology – solar and wind – that lend themselves to local development. But thanks to recent opportunities in community solar and crowdfunding, we may see a renewable energy market in America where everyone wins. Let's start with solar.  It's the ultimate decentralized renewable energy – sunshine falls everywhere – and its cost is falling so fast that, within a decade, 300 gigawatts of unsubsidized solar will be competitive …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Major Scientific Group Drops Tar Sands Research

(Re-published with permission from DeSmog Canada) The Helmholtz Association of Research Centres, a major German scientific body with more than 30,000 researchers and US$4.4 billion in annual funding, has dropped out of a joint Alberta tar sands project over fears that the project was damaging the institution's reputation.  In April 2011, the Province of Alberta invested $25 million to form the "Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative" that would study ways to deal with leakage from the toxic tailings ponds that are a by-product of tar sands mining operations. The HAI was also tasked with finding ways to upgrade the energy extracted from bitumen and lignite coal in …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Australia’s Plan to Nuke the Great Barrier Reef

A recent green light could see radioactive uranium shipped right over one the greatest natural wonders in the world. Ever scuba dived? Or even just put a mask to your face in knee-deep water and looked under the surface at all the brilliant fish and creatures that make a tropical reef their home? It is brilliant, and one of those moments you never forget. Now the largest and most well-known of these reefs, Australia's Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of the province of Queensland, is under threat of becoming a shipping route for uranium  -- the radioactive substance used …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Obama: “All of the above,” again and again

The day after the November 6 election I wrote about Obama’s electoral victory over Romney, which I was glad for. My column was about the need for the climate movement to “make it impossible for the Obama administration not to speak up and take action on the rapidly deepening and most important issue human civilization has ever faced. The world is crying out, almost literally, for smart, determined and visionary leadership on the climate crisis.” When I heard a few weeks later that Obama had directed White House staff to come up with proposals for what he should be doing …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

Standing Up for Clean Water When States Won’t

Imagine that you've grown up in a beautiful, hilly countryside near many streams where you played and fished as a child. Now, years later, you can't even let your own kids or grandkids play in those same waterways because of pollution from a nearby mountaintop-removal coal mine. Such is the reality for thousands of people living in small Appalachian communities across West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky. "Mountaintop removal makes aquatic life sick; it makes people sick; and it destroys vital communities," says Jim Sconyers, Sierra Club West Virginia chair. This week the Sierra Club joined the West Virginia Highlands …

Read more: Uncategorized