After a four-year battle, East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) has abandoned plans for the new J.K. Smith coal-fired power plant in Clark County, Kentucky. Instead, EKPC has committed to contribute $125,000 towards a collaborative effort to evaluate and recommend new energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and options. The coal-fired Smith project faced a remarkable and sustained opposition campaign led by the Sierra Club, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Environmental Foundation, and others. The Club and its allies challenged the air permit, issued reports about jobs and clean energy, intervened in PSC proceedings, and even organized EKPC customers to run for the cooperative’s board.
Now it is time for phase two: the Sierra Club will be working with EKPC to develop more energy-efficient and renewable projects to move forward to a clean energy future for all Kentuckians.
Inspired by her father’s wish for a legacy of environmental activism, Ana Elisa Peréz began her conservation work at an early age. Today she’s a Sierra Club campaign leader in the fight to protect Puerto Rico’s Northeast Ecological Corridor and the 2010 recipient of the Brower Youth Award. The Corridor -- over 3,000 acres of critical habitat for more than 900 species, including the world’s rarest sea turtle -- is highly sought after by the resort industry. In 2005, Ana Elisa’s efforts, supported by the Club, resulted in an executive order from the Governor to protect the Corridor from development. Unfortunately, the new Governor repealed the order and the Corridor is again at risk. But Ana Elisa and the Club aren’t waiting for the government to save this ecosystem. By implementing education programs and supporting research stations as well as local recreation, we are strengthening the connection of the community to the Corridor. As a result, citizens will come to value this area too much to allow it to be lost to development. (Photo: Ana Elisa Peréz, second from right, at the annual turtle festival in Luquillo.)
This week, the Sierra Club and its allies helped turn out more than 100 people to attend a public hearing on an air permit renewal for the Valley coal plant, which is located in downtown Milwaukee. Attendees voiced universal support for cleaning up the plant and a heavy concern for environmental justice, given the plant's location in a densely populated, lower-income area. The hearing came after the Sierra Club and Clean Wisconsin successfully sued the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to stop delaying action on the permit.
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