The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

1Sky and Allies Calling for No New Coal Plants

Tennessee Coal Ash Disaster is a Rude Reminder that Coal is Dirty


In the wake of the recent coal ash spill in Tennessee, a broad
coalition of activists are asking Congress for a moratorium on new coal
plants. Gillian Caldwell, Campaign Director of 1Sky said, "The
Tennessee coal ash spill was a man-made disaster that is directly tied
to our reliance on fossil fuels. In the face of this tragedy, the coal
industry still wants to build more pollution-belching coal plants, and
we cannot let that happen. This just proves that in reality, there is
no such thing as clean coal."

Congress has the power to stop the construction of any new dirty
coal plants. 1Sky activists and allies are asking their members of
Congress for a moratorium on new coal plants and to invest in renewable

On December 22, over 1 billion gallons of toxic coal sludge came
cascading through Eastern Tennessee. The tidal wave of sludge toppled
houses and dirtied rivers and streams. This toxic coal ash has been
stored in an open 40-acre pond next to the 50-year-old power plant.
According to state authorities, after the spill there are 54,000 people
with contaminated water in Roane County alone, and many more outside
the county may also have tainted drinking water.

"If you think this could not happen to you, think again," Caldwell
said, "More than 50 percent of Americans live within 30 miles of a
coal-fired power plant." Caldwell said that even if you are lucky
enough to not live near a coal plant you are still affected by dirty
coal because it is the number one source of global warming pollution in
the United States.

The coal industry spent more than $45 million last year trying to
convince Americans that the dirtiest fuel on the planet is "clean".

On January 8, the Senate Environment Committee is holding an
oversight hearing on the Tennessee Valley Authority and the recent
major coal ash spill. 1Sky steering committee member Steve Smith, the
Executive Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE),
will be testifying.