Beyond Coal

A GAME CHANGER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COAL POLLUTION

The coal industry has had a tight grip on U.S. energy policy for decades, with devastating consequences for both public health and our environment. A reliance on energy from coal is also keeping solar and wind energy out of the market, delaying the move toward cleaner energy sources. However, our partnership with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign is quickly changing the game in the fight to move the country from coal to clean energy.

APPLYING THE BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES APPROACH TO ENDING THE COAL ERA

With the Beyond Coal campaign, we’re helping to end our nation’s reliance on dirty coal, plant-by-plant, community-by-community, and state-by-state.

  1. EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS

    With a $50 million commitment over four years, Bloomberg Philanthropies has provided a significant boost to the Sierra Club and its Beyond Coal campaign’s effort to retire one-third of the nation’s aging coal fleet by 2020.

  2. METRICS AND DATA

    The Sierra Club and Bloomberg Philanthropies have adopted a new emphasis on accountability and results by using outcome-driven performance metrics and setting clear goals to measure and evaluate progress.

  3. LOCAL ACTIONS

    The partnership with the Sierra Club reflects our vision of tackling climate change through actions at the state and local level.

Beyond Coal on the Ground: Oregon

CLOSING A COAL PLANT IN OREGON TO CLEAR THE HAZE FROM THE PRISTINE NORTHWEST

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(Photo Credit: Dave Morrow / dmcustomcreations.com)

ENDING THE COAL ERA IN THE U.S.

The Beyond Coal campaign has become one of the greatest success stories in the modern American environmental movement, effectively halting the construction of new coal plants and bringing about a major shift in U.S. energy policy.

WHAT THE BEYOND COAL CAMPAIGN HAS ACCOMPLISHED SINCE 2002

  1. MORE THAN 142 DIRTY COAL PLANTS SLATED TO RETIRE

    Specific “planned retirement” plants have announced retirement dates, mostly by 2015 or sooner. We plan to retire 1/3 of the dirty coal plants in the U.S. by no later than 2020.

  2. MORE THAN 403 OUTDATED BOILERS SLATED TO RETIRE

    Each coal-burning plant has varying numbers of boilers, and so far, 403 coal boilers in the U.S. have been announced for retirement. We plan to retire the remaining 900 no later than 2030.

  3. ALMOST 54,000 POLLUTING MEGAWATTS ANNOUNCED FOR RETIREMENT

    An average coal-burning plant uses 500 megawatts of energy, which powers roughly 260,000 houses a year. Our goal is to retire nearly 300,000 more polluting megawatts from coal plants and replace them with clean energy to power American homes and businesses.

  4. 50,000 CLEAN ENERGY MEGAWATTS INSTALLED

    As old coal plants retire, Beyond Coal is working to make sure that clean energy such as wind and solar step in to replace them, providing many new jobs for American workers.

Beyond Coal on the Ground: Saving Lives

UPHOLDING THE MERCURY RULES TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY AND SAVE LIVES

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THE HIDDEN CONSEQUENCES OF COAL ARE DAMAGING OUR HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

Coal pollution is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. This pollution damages our land, air and water, contributes to thousands of deaths and serious health problems every year, and stands in the way of clean energy technologies.

FOUR REASONS TO END THE COAL ERA NOW:

  1. CARBON EMISSIONS

    Burning coal is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, which are a key contributor to climate change and the threats it creates, including more extreme weather, rising sea levels, and other ecological disasters.

  2. ENVIRONMENTAL DEVASTATION

    Coal mining devastates the environment and sickens those who live near mining operations. Mining companies destroy mountains and dump millions of tons of waste into the valleys below.

  3. TRAGIC COSTS TO HEALTH

    Coal’s pollution contributes to heart disease, cancer, stroke, and respiratory illness. It also emits almost half of all U.S. mercury pollution and leads to more than 13,000 deaths and $100 billion in health care costs every year.

  4. SHUTTING OUT CLEAN ENERGY

    Coal-fired power plants make it harder for clean energy to gain a foothold. Cleaner, more efficient energy presents an opportunity for America to become more energy independent and economically secure.

Beyond Coal on the Ground: Chicago

WINNING A 10-YEAR BATTLE TO CLOSE TWO DIRTY COAL PLANTS IN CHICAGO

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COMBATING THE COAL INDUSTRY WITH A PARTNERSHIP THAT WORKS

With Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support, the Beyond Coal campaign has doubled in size, and has already—in partnership with a broad coalition of allies—prevented 160 new coal-fired plants from being built.

Powered by a $50 million grant and additional resources from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Beyond Coal campaign is working to retire one-third of the nation’s coal fleet by 2020. Efforts include making sure current environmental laws are enforced, giving local communities a voice for their concerns, and encouraging the use of cleaner and more efficient energy sources.

Since our partnership was announced, more than 120 plants have committed to closure.

OPENING THE MARKET FOR CLEAN ENERGY

It is not enough to say no to coal. Beyond Coal is creating greater market opportunities for clean energy sources, such as solar and wind power, that already provide clean, affordable energy and good jobs for Americans. The Sierra Club is working with both labor and industry to advance policies that will create new jobs in an expanded clean energy economy.

BEYOND COAL BEGINNINGS

What started in 2002 as a two-person grassroots campaign has quickly grown into a powerhouse effort that is changing the way America produces and consumes energy. Working with local citizens in neighborhoods across the country, Sierra Club organizers and its regional and local partners began fighting the coal industry’s efforts to push through plans for as many as 200 new coal plants, a “coal rush,” that would have locked America into coal power for decades.

Together, they achieved one victory after another. The individual victories may have seemed small, but they added up to a huge accomplishment: a de-facto moratorium on new coal-fired plants. The campaign turned its attention to closing existing coal-fired plants, and have received commitments from over 120 plants to retire or convert to clean energy.

Beyond Coal on the Ground: Denver

PHASING OUT DENVER AND BOULDER COAL PLANTS WITH STRONG POLICY

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(Photo Credit: Mclcbooks / Flickr)