A major environmental group is launching a massive campaign to strangle the coal industry, push green energy sources and increase electricity prices for much of the country, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
TheDCNF obtained an internal Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign document from an anonymous source. The document lays out the environmental group’s $120 million campaign to decommission 105,000 megawatts of U.S. coal-fired power, prevent more coal from being mined or exported and push for more green energy production.
Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign’s main goals are to “stop the construction of a new fleet of coal plants… expedite the replacement of the existing fleet of coal plants with cleaner energy alternatives, with a goal of retiring all existing coal plants by 2030” and to “keep the massive U.S. coal reserves underground and out of international markets.”
In order to do this, the Beyond Coal campaign proposed to spend $120 million over four years, with an additional $30 million in 2015, to capitalize on Democratic control of the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Sierra Club plan notes that at this funding level “we will run a strategic national campaign that pushes and supports EPA to issue a series of new pollution-cutting rules relating to each step in the coal lifecycle, including coal mining, coal burning, and disposal of coal ash.”
“At the same time we will use our battle-tested community organizers, lawyers, and media experts to ramp up to a 198-person campaign that is driving robust coal-retirement and clean energy replacement campaigns in at least 45 states,” the document reads. “Sierra Club staff will engage our allies and tens of thousands of new and existing activists to shutter plant after plant. As new market opportunities for clean energy are created, we will push for the rapid deployment of zero-carbon options, including wind, solar, geothermal, and energy efficiency.”
It’s no secret that the Sierra Club is opposed to coal, which they argue contributes to man-made global warming. The environmental group has backed the Obama administration’s regulations on new coal plants, effectively banning them, and have pushed for stricter rules on coal mining.
In fact, the Beyond Coal campaign’s stated goal is to retire one-third of the U.S. coal fleet and keep it from being mined. The group takes credit for helping to retire 163 coal plants since 2010, totaling more than 65,000 megawatts — close to their 105,000 megawatt goal.
But despite their efforts, coal generation has increased slightly in the last year and now generates about 40 percent of U.S. electricity. In light of this, the Sierra Club is redoubling its efforts, launching a federal and state-focused campaign to bring lawsuits against the coal industry to force more power plants to retire and lobby for stricter regulations.