Milestone 250th and 251st American Coal Plants Announce Retirement

March 20th marked the 250th U.S. coal plant that has retired or committed to retire since the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign began in 2010, driving coal use down to its lowest level in history. The retirement of Ohio’s Killen and Stuart plants by June 2018 comes after months of conversations between Dayton Power & Light and stakeholders. DPL and other co-owners decided to announce the retirement because the plants are not economically viable. These plants are the 250th and 251st plants retired nationwide, respectively, since the Beyond Coal Campaign began.
“This milestone is a testament to the commitment Americans have to cleaner air and water — and the power of grassroots action to create healthier communities” said Bruce Nilles, Senior Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “These values and years of hard work in local communities have transformed the way we power our homes, businesses, and places of worship. Today’s announcement further underscores that the market has declared dirty coal economically unviable and its decline inevitable. This means a healthier future for all of us.”
Since 2010 when the Beyond Coal Campaign began pushing for the replacement of coal with clean energy the benefits have added up fast. Coal retirements since that date have:
  • Saved 6,888 lives
  • Prevented 10,694 heart attacks
  • Prevented 113,565 asthma attacks
  • Saved $3.2 billion in health care costs

“The rapid deployment of clean energy is unstoppable. What is missing in Ohio and too many communities is a plan to help the impacted workers and communities make the transition away from coal,” said Nilles. “As we mark this historic milestone, we must be honest that policy makers in places like Ohio are falling short of helping their states make this transition. With only 273 remaining coal plants it is critical that we beginning planning for an end to coal and real opportunities and choices for impacted workers and communities.”

“Despite claims to the contrary, King Coal is not coming back” said Michael Bloomberg. “Four coal-fired power plants have been slated for retirement since November, reflecting strong demand for clean energy over polluting coal. The Americans who power the Beyond Coal campaign won a big victory today and will continue to fight to close half the U.S. coal plants, clean our air and meet our global climate commitments.”

Bloomberg’s foundation has provided $80 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign.

About the Beyond Coal Campaign:

The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign fights on multiple fronts — legal, organization, campaign and communications — to decarbonize the U.S. electric sector, largely by replacing coal with clean energy, and increasingly replacing natural gas with clean energy. Through an open source, top-down and bottom-up campaign, we are taking on one of the most powerful industries in history, have slashed U.S. coal use dramatically and are helping to usher in a clean energy revolution. But our movement hasn’t just transformed the electric sector; we’ve improved public health for the millions of Americans who live downwind of these deadly coal plants and coal mines, cleared the haze pollution blanketing too many of our national parks, and inspired thousands of community leaders, who have found their voice and their power by winning campaigns against opponents that once seemed invincible.

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