LS Power Abandons Plans for Longleaf Coal Plant in Georgia
December 12, 2011
The country’s longest-running campaign against construction of a new coal plant ended today when LS Power announced that it will cancel plans to build the Longleaf Energy Station in Blakely, GA. Sierra Club, Friends of the Chattahoochee and GreenLaw have been organizing against the Longleaf coal plant since it was first proposed in 2001. This victory comes as part of a legal agreement between LS Power and Sierra Club.
This victory marks the 160th proposed coal plant canceled since Sierra Club launched its Beyond Coal campaign in 2005. This victory is particularly noteworthy because the struggle lasted for a decade and involved numerous hearings and appeals, and sustained local opposition by hundreds of Georgia residents. Longleaf was one of the very first plants proposed when, in 2001, the coal industry attempted to block clean energy development by building more than 150 new coal plants across the U.S., a move which would have effectively locked the nation into dependence on dirty coal-fired electricity for the foreseeable future.
Several times over the past decade it looked like LS Power would move forward with its proposed coal plant, but local residents continued their opposition through multiple tactics, including holding a call-in day this past June where more than 250 Georgians called LS Power asking the CEO to cancel the proposal. Sierra Club and Friends of the Chattahoochee, represented by GreenLaw, also brought a series of legal challenges to the permits issued for the plant. The legal battle over the Longleaf coal plant made national and international news when Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore issued a ruling that the plant’s air quality permit was illegal because it failed to provide any limits on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) - the leading greenhouse gas that causes global warming. While Judge Moore’s decision was later overturned, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted much of the legal reasoning of the decision in promulgating rules to limit CO2 emissions from larger industrial facilities.
The announcement comes as part of a nationwide agreement with Sierra Club that also requires LS Power to abandon its proposed Plum Point 2 coal plant in Arkansas and imposes strict new limits on air pollution from the new Sandy Creek coal plant in Texas. The agreement requires the company to withdraw all requests for permits in Georgia and Arkansas, and that any issued permits be rescinded or revoked.
Details and Documents:
Longleaf Defeat Marks End to Nation’s Longest Running Fight Against Coal Plant
December 12, 2011, Sierra Club et al. Press Release
See other "Stopping the Coal Rush" cases.