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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | chapter wide
Club's Beyond Coal Campaign awarded $50 million
August 2011

On July 21 the Sierra Club announced an exciting partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged a $50 million commitment over four years to the Beyond Coal Campaign that will fuel the Club's effort to clean the air, end the coal era, and accelerate the transition to cleaner, cost-effective energy sources.

The safe upper limit for atmospheric CO2 is 350 parts per million. We are currently at 385 ppm. Continued reliance on coal-fired power plants will raise atmospheric carbon dioxide to nearly 500 ppm. At that level, a conservative estimate for the number of species that would be exterminated is one million. Coal plants are factories of death.

—James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

In the US, coal is the leading cause of greenhouse-gas emissions, and coal's pollution contributes to four out of the five leading causes of mortality—heart disease, cancer, stroke, and respiratory illness. Coal emits almost half of all U.S. mercury pollution, which causes developmental problems in babies and young children, as well as being a major contributor to asthma attacks. Coal pollution causes $100 billion in health costs annually.

"If we are going to get serious about reducing our carbon footprint in the United States, we have to get serious about coal. Ending coal power production is the right thing to do, because, while it may seem to be an inexpensive energy source, the impact on our environment and the impact on public health is significant," said Bloomberg.

Bloomberg added: "The Beyond Coal Campaign has had great success in stopping more than 150 new coal-fired power plants over the past few years and is empowering local communities to lead from the front while Congress continues to watch from the back. That is why I'm pleased to support the Sierra Club and its allies, and I encourage others to do the same."

The partnership will play a key role in helping the Club achieve its US goals of

• Cutting 30% of coal production by 2020,
• Reducing mercury pollution from coal by 90% by 2020,
• Replacing a majority of coal with clean energy.

"This partnership will help the Sierra Club to work with communities nationwide as they tell one coal plant after another that inflicting asthma and other diseases on their children is unacceptable and that they will not accept coal pollution in their neighborhoods," said Sierra Club Executive director Michael Brune.

The Club's Beyond Coal Campaign started as a three-person campaign in 2002 and has quickly grown into a powerhouse effort that is changing the way America produces energy. In 2001, the Bush Administration met with coal industry representatives as part of a closed-door energy task force, to craft plans for a new "coal rush"—the construction of 150 new coal-fired power plants. Had the industry prevailed in building these plants, the nation would have been locked into the use of 19th-century dirty fuels for the foreseeable future. The potential for entrepreneurs to develop wind, solar, and other clean technologies would have been crippled. Working with local people in neighborhoods across the country, Sierra Club organizers began fighting Big Coal's efforts to push through these plants. Together, they achieved one victory after another.

The Beyond Coal campaign has achieved many successes to date besides stopping new coal-fired power plants from being built. New mountaintop removal mining permits have slowed to a trickle, and nearly 10% of current coal power plants are slated for retirement.

Studies show that replacing coal's pollution with clean energy is possible, and as coal prices are going up, wind and solar are coming down. Iowa already gets more than 15% of its energy from wind power. San Antonio recently decided to shut down one of its dirty coal plants and install over 400 MW of solar power in what will be one of the largest solar installations in the world. The wind industry already provides more jobs in the US than the coal industry.

For more info visit beyondcoal.org.



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In This Section

Current
Humpback whale visit poses eco-ethics questions
December 2011

California leads in fighting oil addiction
October 2011

Plastic bag ban gaining momentum
October 2011

WTO rules dolphin-safe tuna a trade violation
August 2011

WTO may cut US meat labeling
October 2011

Club's Beyond Coal Campaign awarded $50 million
August 2011

Whales store carbon
August 2011

Watershed Dippers
August 2011

Richardson Grove redwoods get reprieve
August 2011

Richardson Grove redwoods threatened by highway widening
June 2011

Resilient Habitats Campaign will address effects of sea level rise
April 2011

Enviros defeat Bohemian Grove logging plan
April 2011

Sierra Club works to phase out coal
April 2011

Protect CEQA and Environmental Laws in the State Budget Process
March 2011

FDA ponders genetically engineered salmon
December 2010

State of the air
December 2010

Antibacterial soap affects fish reproductive behavior
December 2010

State bill would ban single-use plastic bags
August 2010

Atrazine affects fish reproduction
August 2010

New law will protect Americans from formaldehyde
August 2010

Opt out of unwanted phone books
August 2010

You might not be planning for climate change, but the State is
June 2010

Club report explores ending oil dependence
June 2010

American pika
June 2010

Will Commercial Whaling Resume?
May 2010

Our national parks: a vision for the second century
February 2010

Former Yosemite Supervisors call for restoring Hetch Hetchy
December 2009

Assembly resolution puts pressure on Feds to enforce Marine Mammal Act
October 2009

Report proposes sustainable water solutions for California
October 2009

Free online course on Clean Water Act
October 2009

Only 11 states have bottle laws
October 2009

UCSC makes list of “Coolest” Schools
Sierra’s top 20 coolest schools of 2009
October 2009

Farr seeks upgrade of Pinnacles to National Park
October 2009

Fishing rods donated to youth programs
October 2009

State releases climate change adaptation plan
October 2009

State still considering new logging rules
August 2009

Old Growth Redwoods
August 2009

Protected land database now available
August 2009

How much would you save by ditching your gas guzzler?
August 2009

NOAA website provides resources for coastal cities dealing with climate change
August 2009

Stimulus funds to benefit national forests
August 2009

New report shows birds in decline
June 2009

700,000 acres of new wilderness designated in California
June 2009

Researchers map West Coast ocean threats
June 2009

Sierra Club successfully challenges Stockton’s General Plan Update
June 2009

Say NO to bottled water
June 2009

Local residents propose environmental laws
June 2009

Traffic pollution linked to new cases of asthma
June 2009

County Supervisors support net metering
June 2009

Labor and enviros join forces
April 2009

Restore Hetch Hetchy moves HQ to San Francisco
April 2009

Carl Pope to step down
January 2009

Border wall harming wildlife
January 2009

Learning bird behavior turns kids into scientists
January 2009

Air Board warns consumers about air purifiers
January 2009

Green Streets improve water quality
January 2009

State body proposes plastic bag fees
January 2009

Clean coal is a myth
January 2009

Cutting their carbon footprints
January 2009

Carl Pope to step down as Executive Director of Sierra Club
January 2009

Legislation needed to increase amount of renewable energy
December 2008

Recycling alone is not the answer
December 2008

Patented seeds violate farmer's rights
December 2008

Sierra Club organizer mobilizing volunteers against clearcutting
October 2008

PG&E invests in gas, nuclear and hot air
August 2008

Help prepare Sierra Club huts for winter
August 2008

Air Board develops draft plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
August 2008

Eating for a Healthy Planet
May 2008


Global Warming rekindles nuclear power debate
May 2008


Volunteers needed for LeConte Lodge
March 2008


Action Alert!
Tell the Governor to support Zero Emission Vehicles
March 2008


A gift for the Corrizo Plain pronghorn
January 2008


SB 375 would link land use planning and transportation
January 2008


Governor proposes closing state parks & cutting lifeguards
January 2008


Track green-ness of your electricity
December 2007


UC named 4th in Sierra's list of cool schools
December 2007


Clair Tappaan Warming Hut property protected by conservation easement
October 2007


Cutting back on meat can help global warming
October 2007


Disappearing polar bear habitat
October 2007


International trade
August 2007


Green wedding
August 2007


New roles for our National Parks
August 2007


How we reduced our carbon footprint
April 2007


Joyce Stevens turns 80!
February 2007


Sierra Club launches weekly radio show
February 2007


Co-op America's 12-Step Plan for Climate Action
February 2007


A visit with the great California condors
June 2006


Bush administration abandons long-standing protections for critical wildlife habitat on Alaska’s North Slope

Chapter opposes water management scheme for Seaside Aquifer

Chapter and Group events to highlight marine sanctuary

End of an era: Ventana Chapter Bookstore closes

California has opportunities to reduce mercury poisoning

A biting issue

Sanctuary Draft Management Plan due out this summer

Nature Conservancy acquires gateway to Pinnacles National Monument

Elkhorn Slough threatened by subdivisions

Open space preserved on San Mateo County Coast

Greased lightning - Peregrine falcons in California

It’s time to restore Hetch Hetchy

Appeal to deny subdivision near Elkhorn Slough successful

Chapter revises Los Padres National Forest map

Forest geneticists visit Point Lobos

Methyl bromide poisoning devastates farm workers’ health

Resurrect those old Sierra Club cups?

Transit - highway rules unfair

California's oak woodlands need your help!