Dr. Elliot Trester, MD with Physicians for Social
Responsibility warns against poisoning ourselves
with sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate
matter, mercury, and carbon dioxide from power plants
For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 25, 2007
Bee Moorhead, Texas Impact, 512-636-3135 or 512-472-3903
Donna Hoffman, Sierra Club, 512-477-1729 or 512-299-5776
Rita Beving, Sierra Club, Dallas Regional Group, 214-373-3808
Tom 'Smitty' Smith, Public Citizen, 512-797-8468
Cyrus Reed, Texas Center for Policy Studies, 512-740-4086
(espaρol hablante) http://www.texas.sierraclub.org
Texans Swinging into Action to Support Representative Anderson's HCR 43 - "Time Out" on Permitting Polluting Coal Plants
"Stop the Coal Rush" Rally & Lobby Day Set for February 11 & 12
Environmental Groups Call for Moratorium on Coal Permits, Urge Clean Energy Solutions
(Austin, TX) - A coalition of Texans from
all walks of life is mobilizing in support
of a moratorium on permitting a rash of coal-fired
power plants that are seen as posing major
air pollution and pubic health problems for
Legislation calling for such a
moratorium was filed in the Texas Legislature
on Wednesday by State Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson
(R-Waco) as House Concurrent Resolution 43.
The coalition of Texans fighting the coal
plant permits - which includes doctors and
medical associations, religious communities,
rural farmers and ranchers, retirees, environmental
groups, and local officials - applauded Rep.
Anderson's filing of HCR 43 and pledged to
mobilize their groups and other Texans to
secure its passage.
Citing health and environmental concerns including global warming, the coalition of over 30 groups announced today that a Stop the Coal Rush Rally and Lobby Day will be held at the Texas State Capitol on Sunday and Monday,
February 11 & 12.
During that time, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality would be expected to halt the permitting process and fully assess the cumulative air quality and public health impacts of the 19 proposed coal plants and public officials, evaluate the potential for more protective pollution control technology, and consider alternatives to burning coal such as energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Citizens Reject Air Pollution
"Locals are calling this whole area 'the Ring of Fire' because of the four dirty coal plants planned to surround Waco," said Mayor Mike Glockzin, City of Hallsburg. "We are nervous and scared about the outcome of the cumulative effect. Our people deserve far better!"
Hallsburg Independent School District (HISD) was the first of three public school systems in Texas to announce opposition to the coal plants. "We are building a running track for our schools and these coal plants could make it impossible for our children and community members to use this outdoor facility to stay healthy," said HISD board member Marc Scott. "If we agreed to these coal plants, we would get substantial tax dollars. It's just not worth it if the air is too dirty for the kids to play outside and the children are too sick to learn."
Clean Energy Alternatives in the Legislature
A recent study found that we can meet 80% of Texas' growing demand for electricity at two-fifths the cost of building these 19 dirty proposed coal plants.
"We need to take a time out on processing these coal plant permits and see how much we can accomplish first with energy efficiency and renewable energy," said Rita Beving with the Dallas Regional Group of the Sierra Club.
"Studies are being released that demonstrate clearly how we can eliminate the need for new dirty, coal plants by implementing currently available, efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies on a systematic basis across all sectors -- governmental, commercial, industrial, educational, and residential," said Beving. "The same work force who labor in unhealthy coal plants will get new jobs building and maintaining this cleaner, safer, and cheaper energy economy."
[Contact Donna Hoffman for copies of the CERES and ASES clean energy studies.]
Stop the Coal Rush coalition members arriving at the Capitol on February 11 & 12 plan not only to support Rep. Anderson's HCR43 moratorium on coal plant permits and but also to push for more efficient use of energy and increased reliance on renewable energy sources through:
Standards and other actions for greater energy efficiency for appliances sold in Texas and new buildings and homes built in Texas;
Increased efficiency goals for investor-owned electricity utilities; and,
Clarification of the goals and targets of the renewable portfolio standards of electric power utility providers.
Improving the Process
"It's time for the Legislature to step in and take action on behalf of the Texans they represent. Lawmakers should stop the coal "fast-track" process so Texans can have a real voice in the crucial decisions about how we will power our state for generations to come," said Bee Moorhead, Executive Director of Texas Impact an interfaith grassroots network. "A decision this far-reaching and with such important health implications should not be made
by just one individual or one corporate interest."
Margaret Rands, President of the East Texas Environmental Concerns Organization plans to travel with members of her group to the Stop the Coal Rush Rally & Lobby Day. She said, "TXU, the largest energy lobby force, has
43 lobbyists working for them at the Texas State Legislature as of the end of January. Together, Stop the Coal Rush has thousands."
Rally organizers expect hundreds of people to attend the Stop the Coal Rush Rally & Lobby Day, and thousands more are expected to communicate their support for HCR 43, energy efficiency, and renewable energy from their homes
Members of the Press are especially encouraged to attend the Stop the Coal Rush RALLY on Sunday afternoon, February 11 at 3:00 pm.
American Lung Association serving Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas; Austin Physicians for Social Responsibility; Blue Skies Alliance (Dallas); Citizens for Environmental Cleanup (Fairfield); Citizens Organizing for Resources and Environment (Bonham); Democracy for Texas; Downwinders at Risk; East Texas Environmental Concerns Organization (Athens); Greater Caddo Lake Association; GreenGirls.net, Houston Climate Protection Alliance; Keep Waco Green; Public Citizen; Robertson County: Our Land, Our Lives; Sierra Club - Lone Star Chapter, Alamo, Austin, Big Bend, Coastal Bend, Dallas, Fort Worth, Galveston, Golden Triangle, Houston, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Pineywoods, and Golden Triangle Regional Groups; Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED)Coalition; Texas Campaign for the Environment; Texas Center for Policy Studies; Texas Clean Water Action; Texas IMPACT, People of Faith Working for Justice; and TPOWER (Riesel).
Rally organizers hope the weather will be lovely for enjoying not only brilliant speeches but also the music of Diddley Squat the jazz and rock band traveling on a bus with Mayor Sam Canup, the entire City Council and in fact, most of the population of the City of Uncertain on Caddo Lake.