This is this week's weekly post from Bruce Nilles, director of Sierra Club's Move Beyond Coal campaign.
South Carolina is on the front lines of global warming, being that they are in the path of the more fierce hurricanes and rising sea levels. So it should be no surprise that a coalition has formed against the latest planned coal-fired power plant there – a 660-megawatt near the Pee Dee River area.
If built, this plant could be the single largest new destroyer of Appalachian mountains in the United States. Why? Because the plant would use coal sourced from the states where the coal industry is busy blowing off the tops of mountains to get the coal out.
For a state with such wind and solar potential, and no coal reserves, it is downright bizarre that a state agency (yes, the state runs power plants) to be stuck in such 19th century thinking about energy options. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon across the U.S. – many states with great clean, renewable energy options are busy chasing energy sources of the past.
That’s why our South Carolina chapter has banded together with a great new coalition of like-minded organizations to urge the state to be a leader, not a laggard. This new coalition called “SC Says No” – is already getting some results in the fight against the Santee Cooper plant.
Photo courtesy Courtesy Graeme Fouste of the Columbia Free Times
The coalition members recently led a delegation to a South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control hearing to demand a board review of the plant’s air permit. Their presence was acknowledged by board members and the request for a board hearing on the air permit was granted for Feb. 12.
South Carolina Chapter Director John Ramsburgh has a simple 2009 resolution “Put a Palmetto State smack-down on this coal plant. The state can do so much better.”
We’ll be there to help them the whole way.