Coal Fire Plant Phase Out
In Ontario, coal power plants supply approximately 10% of the energy used to power factories, homes and businesses. However, the negative environmental effects of burning coal are well known: increasing CO2 and methane concentrations in the atmosphere and release of toxic heavy metals.
There are also the costs of removing coal from the earth. The mining of coal causes a list of environmental and health concerns: CO2 released from mining trucks and cranes, heavy metal contaminants (uranium and selenium) leading to increased cancer rates, impact on water flow which can lead to flooding, and destruction of wildlife habitats. Mountain Top Removal is a huge issue which the Sierra club in West Virginia is working on right now. Read more about MTR here.
The Ontario government has committed to shutting these polluters down but the date for accomplishing this has been moved out to 2014. Dan McDermott, our Chapter Director, is striving to ensure that this becomes a reality.To be of assistance with this important campaign a prospective volunteer must be highly informed about coal fire plant regulation and policy and have some relevant practical experience.
Contact: Dan McDermott at (dmcd<at>sierraclub.ca)
Enbridge’s Line 9 proposal is to take an existing pipeline running across Ontario (see map) and get a permit to change what is pumped in the pipe as well as reverse the flow. Currently L9 carries imported oil westward to Sarnia for refining, Enbridge is seeking to run DilBit (diluted bitumen) in the pipe instead. This new project is to facilitate expansion of sales of their Tar Sands product which we are against for a multitude of reasons (see http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/tar-sands as well as blogpost).... Read more »
Ontario’s last coal-burning power plants will close by the end of this year, Premier Dalton McGuinty is expected to announce Thursday.
The closure is either one year earlier than scheduled, or six years late, depending on your perspective.
The current deadline for closing the coal plants is Dec. 31, 2014 — which makes the new deadline a year early. But the McGuinty government had ridden into office in 2003 promising to close the coal plants by the end of 2007.... Read more »
By Jane Muir
Fast action on air pollution has potential to slow warming
Let's suppose that you don't live in Greenland and don't care that CO2 emissions are helping to melt that country's ice sheet. Then let's suppose that you do live on a street with lots of diesel vehicle traffic, or work in a coal mine, or cook over a traditional wood stove and are exposed to lots of black carbon that makes it hard to breathe. You want your government to do something fast to clean up your air and improve your health, right?
That's the hope of a new coalition of 21 countries that aims to slow global warming by attacking short-lived air pollutants. These pollutants drive nearly half of the warming projected to occur between now and 2050, experts say.... Read more »
From our friends at Ontario Clean Air Alliance:
Another coal plant has bitten the dust in Ontario. A few days ago, the Atikokan Generating Station, located about 200 kilometres west of Thunder Bay, burned its last piece of coal. While it may be a long way from smoggy southern Ontario, the Atikokan plant was still a big polluter: dumping mercury and acid-rain generating fallout over the beautiful lakes, rivers and forests of the province’s northwest. And, of course, it was a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that affect us all. ... Read more »
I felt silly buying a magazine with a big picture of Justin Bieber on the front “but it IS Rolling Stone” I said to the woman behind the counter. That discomfort, however, paled in comparison to the deep-seated angst that came with reading Bill McKibben’s summary of the latest climate change statistics that is in the same issue.
This is a joint post with Andrew S. Kanter, MD MPH, the president of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Coal kills. Don't take it from us; that's what International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde told a Washington, D.C., audience recently, noting that coal pollution is responsible for 70,000 premature deaths each year in India alone. Shockingly, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Even in developed countries like the United States, coal burning is responsible for approximately 13,200 deaths, 9,700 hospitalizations, and more than 20,000 heart attacks annually.
... Read more »
River Network, a US-based organization dedicated to protecting and restoring rivers have released a report on the water footprint of electricity, explaining how power plants of all types (nuclear, coal and natural gas) draw from our vital water resources to produce electricity. The report investigates how power production puts tremendous stress on our watersheds, including the Great Lakes. The demand for “burning” freshwater sources from electricity production also leads to a range of pollution and water scarcity concerns, which could be assuaged by introducing more water-efficient ways of generating power. Although the findings of this report are situated within a US context, the “burning” of water sources is a global occurrence, and the content presented is valuable for grasping an understanding of this phenomena nonetheless.... Read more »
Beyond Coal campaign cool new tool
Love sushi? Make sure you choose safe fish. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin and can damage your brain and nervous system. Next time you order, choose fish that is low in mercury.
How many more coal ash spills need to happen before Americans are protected by coal ash safeguards? The latest happened Monday in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, at the We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant.... Read more »
Michael Bloomberg braved the sweltering temperatures on a hot July morning, mounted a platform in front of the coal-fired GenOn power station in Alexandria, Virginia, and announced to those gathered that his charity, Bloomberg Philanthropies, was giving $50 million to the US Sierra Club to aid its Beyond Coal Campaign.
Mr.Bloomberg is just one of many people who now grasp the disastrous implications of mining and burning coal. In his speech to the people who had gathered on that hot July morning in Alexandria, Virginia, he said we must "fight climate change and bring about our clean energy future." By offering $50 million to this cause, he said, "I am doing my part to move our country Beyond Coal. Are you with me?"... Read more »
Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future is a book by Jeff Goodell which claims that coalmining is one of America's largest and most influential industries. Goodell suggests that coal mining is deadly and environmentally destructive.
You can also read the book on Google books here.
Under attack for soaring hydro bills, the Ontario government struck back Friday by announcing the shutdown of four more coal-fired energy generating units.
Speaking from the Ontario Lung Association headquarters in Toronto, Energy Minister Brad Duguid said two of eight coal-fired units at the Nanticoke station and two of four at the Lambton plant have closed. Shutting them down is the pollution-clearing equivalent of removing up to 2 million cars from the road.
Promoting urban forests, ‘how to’s’ of natural clay and cattail building materials, McGuinty goes nuclear, the coal phase-out now a psyche-out, and more