Dynegy Abandoning LS Power Coal Plants
This is a weekly blog post from Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club's National Coal Campaign.
The hints came down in December, but today it is confirmed: Dynegy is abandoning its plans to build five new coal plants as a joint venture with LS Power. Without its larger partner, LS Power will have a very difficult time developing and financing the proposed plants, even though the company has said it will try.
These abandoned plants are in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Iowa and Arkansas, and this is a major victory for the Sierra Club, our partners, and the thousands of people who stood up to Dynegy's dirty plans. Dynegy had been the largest developer of new coal-fired power plants in the country, but due to our efforts the company has now recognized that new coal plants are an economic mistake and the wrong direction for their shareholders and the country. We applaud them for taking this major step forward in securing a clean energy future.
In February 2008 we launched our "Clean Up Dynegy" campaign in response to the two companies' joint venture to build seven coal-fired power plants. Our Dynegy campaign focused on the six states where Dynegy proposed their coal plants - AR, IA, GA, MI, NV and TX. We even set up a website specifically targeting Dynegy: http://www.CleanUpDynegy.org/
Our staff and volunteers in those states worked tirelessly in this effort. They ran a national letter-writing and phone call campaign targeting Dynegy's CEO. In addition to thousands of letters, emails, and phone calls, we organized numerous local protests in the states, including a major rally on May 14th with a broad coalition outside of Dynegy's annual shareholder meeting in Houston. We also met with Dynegy's CEO twice -- once in their Washington, DC, lawyers' offices and once in Sierra Club's Chicago office.
If LS Power decides to continue with these plants, they stand alone. We encourage them and their potential customers to shift their investments into cleaner and lower-cost alternatives like wind, solar, and efficiency that can create new jobs and economic opportunity while cutting pollution, improving public health, and helping solve global warming.
We are thrilled to see the success of this campaign, and we thank our coalition partners as well: Public Citizen, Co-Op America, Rainforest Action Network, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, our own Sierra Student Coalition, and all of the activists and other groups that worked together to make this victory possible.
Even though we enjoy this victory, there is still more work to be done. We will continue to challenge Dynegy’s remaining proposed plants in Texas (Sandy Creek) and Arkansas (Plum Point #1). The construction of more coal-fired power plants would be a giant step backward, so we will encourage remaining utilities to abandon their dirty plans and to invest instead in clean energy solutions.