July 28: Take Action Against Coal in Georgia

July 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm 1 comment

Aerial image of the Harlee Branch Plant in Milledgeville, GA.

Aerial image Plant Branch, located in Milledgeville, GA.

There’s finally a glimmer of hope in the quest to restructure energy sources in the Southeast. More than a year after a judge ruled to halt the construction of the Longleaf coal plant in south Georgia, an appeals court has upheld her the decision that the plant’s excessive emissions is a hazard to the health and safety of Georgia citizens.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore wrote in her initial decision (from July of 2008) that “the plant as permitted [by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources] would annually emit large amounts of air pollutants, including eight [million] to nine million tons of carbon dioxide…[and] since CO2 is ‘otherwise subject to regulation under the [Clean Air] Act,’ a PSD [prevention of significant deterioration] permit cannot issue for Longleaf without CO2 emission limitations.”

As noted by David Biello of Scientific American magazine, this is the first time that excessive CO2 emissions have been cited as a deciding factor in denying a permit for coal plant construction. If nothing else, this decision means that environmental concerns are moving up the governmental ladder and into our courts where precedents will be set that lay the groundwork for a sustainable national future.

Rather than denying the permit altogether, though, the appellate decision  has ordered a case review that will require the Longleaf construction proposal to contain stricter emissions targets and more environmentally-sound technology. By questioning the validity of the permit and ordering a further case review, Georgians now have an opportunity to build strong opposition to the Longleaf plant construction. The anti-coal movement is already strong – with hundreds of Georgians and several organizations already on board – but now that we’ve got more time, we can mobilize our voices and share our knowledge.

A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 28, at 6pm at Early County High School. At this hearing, members of the local and regional community will offer their opinions about the plant and its effect on the environment. Administrators will be present, public officials will be present, but most importantly, Georgia citizens must be present to express what they know about coal and its negative health and environmental effects.

What we know is this – that coal is by far one of the most environmentally-destructive resources available. Coal mining alters our planet’s landscape, transporting the coal to plants uses a tremendous amount of gas, and the process of burning coal produces millions of tons of CO2 emissions in our region alone. There are already more than one hundred plants in the Southeast and rather than constructing new plants, we need to be spending our money investing in safe, sustainable alternatives to coal-fired power plants.

Let’s attend this hearing and spread the word about wind, solar, hydrokinetic, and geothermal energy. (links to fact sheets that I’m more than happy to prepare.) We need to use this opportunity as a vehicle to unite our voices and fight against dirty coal. Clean energy is the future and it is imperative that we share this sentiment with our friends, families, and communities.

So come to the hearing and say your piece. Invite friends, relatives, and neighbors and encourage them to join the fight for clean energy and a safe, sustainable future.

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Entry filed under: coal, events, georgia, southeast, southern energy network.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Cialis  |  March 6, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    8dTaym Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!

    Reply

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