Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign Reaches Major Milestones


Brian Willis,

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign reached two major milestones this week with the announced retirements of the CD McIntosh coal plant in Lakeland, Florida and the Utah Power Plant in Magna, Utah. These announced retirements mark the 288th and 289th coal plant retirements for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign since 2010, and the 50th and 51st coal plant retirement announcements since Donald Trump was elected.

Under pressure from electricity consumers, public health organizations, and environmental activists, utilities across the United States have been retiring their dirty, uneconomic coal plants and increasingly replacing them with cleaner, cheaper competitors like solar, wind, batteries, and energy efficiency. Studies have shown that for every coal plant retired, 25 premature deaths, 38 heart attacks, and 408 asthma attacks are prevented, which has fueled widespread local and national activism against building new coal plants and transitioning existing ones to renewable energy.

Despite Trump’s toxic political rhetoric and numerous attempts to bail out coal executives by rolling back life-saving federal safeguards or pushing new taxpayer-funded bailouts, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, in conjunction with Bloomberg Philanthropies and hundreds of local and national partners, have continued the trend away from coal to clean energy.

In response, Mary Anne Hitt, Senior Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, released the following statement:

“The latest coal retirement announcements make one thing clear - our nation keeps moving beyond coal, thanks to leadership from states and cities. From Florida to Utah, Americans are turning away from coal to clean energy, because renewable power is cheaper and doesn’t pollute our air, water, and climate.

These coal plant retirements are #288 and #289 announced since 2010, and #50 and #51 since Trump was elected. They are the latest proof that Trump’s empty rhetoric won’t stop our nation from moving beyond coal to clean energy. Trump and the billionaire polluters who support him cannot compete with people all over the country who are standing up to put the health of our communities before bailing out a handful of wealthy coal executives.

“Rather than continuing to offer false promises about reviving coal, the Trump Administration should focus on creating real policies that help fossil fuel workers transition to new economic opportunities. With every coal plant retired, we will redouble our efforts to collaborate with workers, unions, and communities affected to ensure workers can transition away from coal to family-sustaining jobs with dignity. The decline of coal is happening before our eyes because it is too dangerous and too expensive to compete in a 21st century energy economy. Now, it is time for political leaders all over the country to join the effort to ensure the transition to clean energy leaves nobody behind.”

Michael Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, also released the following statement:

"Despite the Trump Administration's efforts to prop up unhealthy and unprofitable coal-fired power plants, they are still closing as fast as ever. The American people know that moving to cleaner, cheaper energy is good for their health and their pocketbooks - and for our environment. This milestone shows that America continues to move Beyond Coal no matter what anyone in Washington says."

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit