TransAlta Coal Plant, Centralia , WA (image: Sierra Club)
In the fall of 2007, the Rosemere Neighborhood Association, along with five other Northwest environmental groups including Columbia Riverkeeper, Willapa Audubon Society, Washington Environmental Council, Sierra Club’s Cascade Chapter and Northwest Energy Coalition were granted the legal status to intervene in the permitting process for Energy Northwest’s proposed 680-megawatt coal-fueled Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant in Kalama, Washington. The intervention was successful, and Energy Northwest withdrew its application to build the coal fired power plant. Environmental groups provided testimony regarding the contamination caused by coal fired power plants, and the public was mobilized to object to Energy Northwest’s plans that would have polluted the Columbia River and would have impacted the health of local residents.
In an effort to make Washington State a coal-free state, conservation groups are now focusing on the aged TransAlta coal fired power plant in Centralia. During the week of Earth Day, a coalition of organizations sponsored Town Hall meetings in Western Washington to discuss the environmental and public health impacts caused by coal plants, and to mobilize efforts to shut down the TransAlta plant, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, mercury pollution, and coal haze that that invades 12 wilderness areas in Washington State.
A study published in Open Atmospheric Science Journal by a group of ten scientists from the United States (including NASA), the United Kingdom and France argue that a prompt moratorium on new coal use and a complete phase out of existing coal emissions is needed by 2030 to avert environmental catastrophe. The report concludes: “The stakes, for all life on the planet, surpass those of any previous crisis.”
Rosemere attended the Town Hall meeting in Vancouver, April 21, 2010, sponsored by the Sierra Club. Panelists included Maye Thompson from Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Doug Howell of the Sierra Club, and Ted Nace, author of the book Climate Hope: On the Front Lines of the Fight Against Coal. The Sierra Club has formed the Coal Free campaign with a chapter working in Washington State. [Read More...]