Beyond Coal Goes Beyond The Impossible

Successful grassroots movements for the wellness of our nation (and our earth) happen every day, but we don’t always get to hear about them. Take the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign (BCC), for instance, whose mission is to shut down coal power plants, prevent new ones from being built, and replace them with clean energy through local activism. A very important, but nearly impossible sounding, goal to challenge one of the biggest industries in our nation.

Successful grassroots movements for the wellness of our nation (and our earth) happen every day, but we don’t always get to hear about them. Take the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign (BCC), for instance, whose mission is to shut down coal power plants, prevent new ones from being built, and replace them with clean energy through local activism. A very important, but nearly impossible sounding, goal to challenge one of the biggest industries in our nation.

In this wonderful interview/story posted earlier this month on the Good Fight with Ben Winkler, Mary Anne Hitt, Director of the BCC, and a few other smart people give an account of the astounding success of their mission and their vision for the clean energy future of our country.

Mary Anne Hitt:

Once people realize that they can make electricity [and] keep their lights on without pollution, and have good jobs in their industries and their communities, they are not going to want to go backwards. They are not going to want to go back to polluted rivers and asthma attacks and blown up mountain tops.”

Coal power plants put off an incredible amount of pollution that affects our air and our water and our overall health. In the early 2000s, BCC set out to block 200 coal power plants proposed by the Bush administration. Using tactics like getting local community members to deny permits, and using legal action, they stopped 182! Their current mission plans to shut down ⅓ of the country’s currently running coal power plants -- and to date they’ve helped shutter 165! Winkler sums up the BCC strategy from the very beginning, which is one that a lot of grassroots movements should consider:

If you wanted national action, you had to win locally first.”

Take a listen, you won’t regret it. We should all see this story as an inspiration. A small group of concerned people can mobilize thousands and have an incredible impact on the way that the foundation of our country (and planet) works! Learn more about the disastrous pollution and impact of coal-fired power plants, and the powerful work that the Sierra Club is doing to put coal in the bin of history.

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