The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign Marks 350th Coal Plant Set for Retirement

Residents of Southwest Indiana can breathe a little easier now that a massive, super-polluting coal plant is officially slated for retirement. Thanks to years of advocacy from community members with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign and partner organizations, the Rockport coal plant will be fully retired by 2028

The Rockport plant is located about 35 miles east of Evansville, Indiana, along the Ohio River. Evansville is surrounded by four major polluting facilities and is burdened by more toxic pollution from coal-burning plants than any other midsize or large city in the country, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity.

The Clean Air Task Force found that Rockport emitted 5.9 million pounds of toxic pollution in 2014, making it the second-most toxic power plant in Indiana. Pollution from Rockport causes 130 premature deaths, 200 heart attacks, more than 2,200 asthma attacks—140 of which result in trips to the ER —every year.

“Southwest Indiana has long been a sacrifice zone to coal-burning, and those of us who live here have suffered the consequences to our health,” said Wendy Bredhold, senior representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign in Indiana.

Rockport marks the 350th coal plant set to retire since the beginning of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. The Beyond Coal Campaign began in 2010, when the US had 530 active coal plants, a robust and influential coal industry, and only a fledgling clean energy economy.

Since then, the Sierra Club and its allies have organized thousands of communities, medical organizations, and consumer accountability groups to hold coal plant owners accountable for the pollution they create. We’ve done more than say no to coal: We’ve helped build the energy solutions of the future by pushing local utilities and power providers to transition to clean energy sources like solar and wind, which are increasingly cheaper than fossil fuels. 

Be part of the solution: Join the Beyond Coal campaign.