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December 12, 2011

Major Coal Victory - LS Power Agrees to Abandon Two Coal Projects, Invest in Solar

SmogToday, the Sierra Club is celebrating a landmark victory that was a long time coming. We have reached a settlement with LS Power to cancel their plans to build two new coal plants - the Longleaf plant in Georgia, and the Plum Point 2 plant in Arkansas.

These two coal plants are #160 and 161 on the growing list of new coal plants defeated by the Sierra Club and our allies since 2002. These are two more nails in the coffin of a rush to build new coal plants that we have fought for a decade, and that is now coming to an end, with only a handful of proposed coal projects hanging on by a thread around the country.

The victory is especially sweet because the Longleaf campaign was the longest running fight against a new coal plant that the Sierra Club had fought anywhere in the country. We have been opposing the plant since it was first proposed in 2001 - ten years, enough time for a child to go from birth to middle school! This victory is a testament to the power of perseverance, and kudos go to our allies Friends of the Chattahoochee and GreenLaw for sticking with this roller coaster ride through thick and thin.

LS Power will also abandon plans to build their proposed Plum Point 2 coal plant in Arkansas. They will install state-of-the art pollution controls on their Sandy Creek plant in Texas, which will soon begin operation. And they will invest $400,000 in solar projects in the area of the Sandy Creek project, including putting solar panels on a nearby school. Sierra Club, Public Citizen, and Sandy Creek Energy Associates all helped bring this agreement across the finish line.

Today's announcement is a victory for our health, for clean energy, and for electricity consumers and their pocketbooks. Once again, new coal plants have proven to be the wrong choice for a 21st century energy investment. Wind and solar are affordable, reliable, and safe, and new coal projects like Longleaf and Plum Point 2 are finding it harder and harder to compete.

Congratulations to all who worked so hard to win these hard-fought victories!

-- Mary Anne Hitt, Director of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign

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