Sierra student groups push campuses to expel coal plants

Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign has been turning up the heat on coal users, including campuses.

According to Sierra, 60 U.S. universities operate their own coal plants. The environmental group wants them to convert to another source of energy that produces fewer greenhouse gases, which are contributing to rapid climate change. Coal plant emissions also create ground-level pollution and contain mercury and arsenic, which ends up on land and in oceans and lakes.

Coal is plentiful, so let’s keep it that way

You know that argument about how the U.S. can’t really impact greenhouse gases because they’re spiraling out of control in other developing nations like China and India?
It’s illogical on its face, but that’s not stopping fossil fuel interests from pushing this idea.

Nevada Energy and the coal hard truth

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

NV Energy has postponed plans to build a coal-fired power plant in eastern Nevada due to “increasing environmental and economic uncertainties surrounding its development,” the company announced.

Instead, the company will focus on construction of a 250-mile transmission line to link northern and southern Nevada in hopes of transporting energy from “renewable and other energy production facilities,” NV said in a statement. And it will ask the state regulatory agency to approve accelerated construction of the line.

Green agitators agitate

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Don’t know if it’s the financial crisis, the change of seasons or just the usual grumpiness over the incessant despoiling of the mothership, but the green agitators seem especially edgy lately.

Reuters reported Monday that Greenpeace had blockaded palm oil ships leaving an Indonesian port bound for China and Europe. Their point: harvesting palm oil in that region is destroying rainforests and wildlife and contributing to greenhouse gases (remember those warm climate forests are especially valuable carbon sinks).

The activists were reportedly bobbing in rubber boats out in front of the palm oil ships and one Greenpeacer was seen jumping aboard the anchor of a ship, where he or she presumably clung for dear life.

Green vs. green

By Barbara Kessler

Disturbing reports haunt the news lately, suggesting that the faltering U.S. economy could stall environmental progress or even force a digression on climate change programs.

Two U.S. wind energy companies and several corn ethanol projects have been delayed for lack of financing, The New York Times reported this week in “Alternative Energy Suddenly Faces Headwinds“.

A similarly upbeat piece “Environment will wither whoever wins US election” from The Times in London, notes that “environmental groups are already bracing themselves for delays or disappointment on action to tackle global warming”. The article postulates that post-election political leaders will face opposition to environmental programs from job-starved states in the Rust Belt reliant on coal and other heavy industry. American’s immediate need for cold green cash, it warns, could trump green growth.

Wind over coal in Pennsylvania

By Barbara Kessler

Future energy literally rose above fossil fuel-generated power at a site in Pennsylvania where officials celebrated the opening this week of the Casselman Wind Power Project near Garrett, Pa., southeast of Pittsburgh.

Eight of the 23 turbines sit atop the site of a former coal mine.

“Pennsylvania is rapidly becoming a leader among states that are developing renewable and alternative energy sources and implementing advanced energy efficiency and conservation technologies,” said Governor Edward G. Rendell at the opening ceremony.

Rendell noted that the project will help create jobs, reduce dependence on foreign oil and improve the environment.