Contact: Ken Kramer, 512-476-6962 ofc. or 512-626-4204 cell
Donna Hoffman, 512-477-1729 ofc. or 512-299-5776 cell
Neil Carman, 512-472-1767 ofc.
The Dirty Truth about Coal
New Sierra Club Report Details Real Life Impacts of Our Dependence on Coal
In a new report released today, the Sierra Club documents the devastating impacts of our nation’s dependence on coal. The report, The
Dirty Truth about Coal: Why Yesterday’s Technology Should Not Be Part of Tomorrow’s
Energy Future details the serious societal, economic and environmental tolls of coal.
“The coal industry marketing machine is working overtime to convince Americans that coal is the magic solution to our energy needs,” said Ken Kramer, Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. “With its multi-million dollar advertising campaigns the industry is promoting a new, ‘clean’ image. Unfortunately the change is only skin deep. Despite claims of ‘clean coal’ and ‘carbon free’ coal, the old, dirty practices of the coal industry haven’t changed.”
From the time it is mined to when it is burned in power plants such as: American Electric Power's Welsh and Pirkey plants, TXU's Big Brown, Monticello, Martin Lake, and Sandow plants, and NRG's (formerly Reliant) Limestone County plant, coal leaves a path of pollution and destruction.
Burning coal for electricity damages public health, tears up the land, pollutes our waters, devastates communities and makes global warming worse.
The recent decision by the TCEQ commissioners on a 2-1 vote to permit TXU's huge Oak Grove coal plant would lead to further use of Texas lignite mines and would lead to 16.6 million tons of global warming gases, 6,286 tons of ozone-forming nitrogen oxides and 1,440 pounds of mercury per year, among the highest in the country. The Commissioners decision will be appealed.
“Coal is one of the dirtiest, least efficient sources of energy available,” said Kramer. “Fortunately we don’t have to continue sacrificing our health and communities to meet our energy needs; we have better, cleaner options.”
We have the technology and the know-how to meet our energy needs while improving public health, creating jobs, and reducing our global warming emissions.
Investing in clean energy in Texas would create 249,151 jobs, including 36,985 new manufacturing jobs and 35,444 new construction jobs.
“As the Sierra Club report shows, mining, transporting, and burning coal is a bad investment that contributes to water pollution, air pollution, and global warming,” said Kramer. “In Texas, for some power plants we’re importing northern Wyoming coal across four states with diesel-burning, air polluting trains on rail lines going through cities already struggling to meet clean air standards. For other plants we’re burning the dirtiest form of coal – Texas lignite – which is not proven to work with emissions control technologies. It’s time to look beneath the façade and see the true cost of our dependence on coal.”