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E-M:/ Sierra Club New Report: The Dirty Truth About Coal



June 21, 2007



Virginia Cramer, 202-675-6279

David Willett, 202-675-6698




                        The Dirty Truth About Coal

New Sierra Club Report Details Real Life Impacts of Our Dependence on Coal


In a new report released today, the Sierra Club documents the devastating

impacts of our nation's dependence on coal. The report, The Dirty Truth

About Coal: Why Yesterday's Technology Should Not Be Part of Tomorrow's

Energy Future, details the serious societal, economic and environmental

tolls of coal.


A copy of the report can be found on-line at



"The coal industry marketing machine is working overtime to convince

Americans that coal is the magic solution to our energy needs," said Alice

McKeown, coal specialist for the Sierra Club.  "With its multi-million

dollar advertising campaigns the industry is presenting a new, 'clean'

image. Unfortunately the change is only skin deep. Despite claims of 'clean

coal' and 'carbon free' coal, the old, dirty practices of the coal industry

haven't changed."


From the time it is mined to when it is burned in over 500 power plants

nationwide, coal leaves a path of pollution and destruction in its wake

that  damages public health, tears up the land, pollutes our waters,

devastates communities and makes global warming worse.


"Coal is one of the dirtiest, least efficient sources of energy available,"

said Sierra Club energy program director Dave Hamilton. "Fortunately we

don't have to continue sacrificing our health and communities to meet our

energy needs; we have better, cleaner options."


We have the technology and the know-how to meet our energy needs while

improving public health, creating jobs, and reducing our global warming

emissions. Investing in efficiency and clean energy could create thousands

of new, good-paying jobs across the country and contribute millions to our



"As this report shows, coal that is not mined responsibly or burned cleanly

so as not to contribute to air pollution and global warming is a bad

investment," said McKeown. "It's time to look beneath the façade and see

the true cost of our dependence on coal."


The world's scientists agree: Global warming is real, here and happening

faster than anyone predicted. But scientists also say we can curb global

warming and its consequences --if we take bold, comprehensive action now

that add up to an 80 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2050. That's a

do-able 2% percent cut a year, each year starting in 2007. Cutting

emissions 2% a year will enable us to build a cleaner, smarter and safer

energy future and stronger economy, to meet and overcome the most urgent

challenge facing us, to protect our children and theirs. But to reach our

goal means we must start right now to make different, better decisions

about the energy we use at home, at work and as a nation.


A copy of the report can be found on-line at






David Willett

National Press Secretary

Sierra Club

(202) 675-6698 (w)

(202) 491-6919 (m)