Sierra Club Challenges Duke Energy’s Emissions Scheme - Pollution Limits on New Coal Plant Artificially Inflated

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Sierra Club

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release April 3, 2008

Contact: Bruce Nilles, Sierra Club, 608.257.4994
Bill Hayden, Sierra Club, 812.288.1367 (home), 812.320.7371 (cell)

Sierra Club Challenges Duke Energy’s Emissions Scheme - Pollution Limits on New Coal Plant Artificially Inflated

The Sierra Club today took steps to hold Duke Energy accountable for failing to install modern pollution controls at its aging coal-fired power plant in Edwardsport, Indiana, and trying to skirt stringent pollution limits on its new coal power plant proposal. Specifically Sierra Club filed a citizen enforcement action in federal court in Indiana seeking an order prohibiting Duke’s illegal pollution.

Sierra Club took particular aim at Duke’s CEO, Jim Rogers, who has been vocal about the need to curb pollution, but has consistently refused to commit his company to any meaningful action. In fact in this case, Duke is using its past pollution violations to try and skirt stringent emissions requirements for its new coal-fired power plant. Duke is proposing massive new coal plants in Indiana and North Carolina that would dramatically increase emissions of global warming pollution.

“Duke’s actions don’t match the company’s green rhetoric,” said Bill Hayden, Chair of the Sierra Club’s Hoosier Chapter Executive Committee. “Duke’s failure to install modern pollution controls and lead on global warming shows that the company is not serious about cleaning up its act.”

Under the Clean Air Act, coal-fired power plants are required to upgrade their pollution controls when they undertake major modifications. Over the past two decades Duke has modified its existing Edwardsport coal plant several times, investing millions of dollars in upgrades. However, the company failed to also upgrade its pollution controls to use the best available technology, resulting in unlawfully high levels of pollution.

“Duke should not be allowed to benefit from breaking the law—especially at the cost of our air and our health,” said Hayden. “Indiana already gets more than ninety percent of its electricity from coal and Duke is leading the charge to increases Indiana’s over reliance on coal to the exclusion of clean energy alternatives.”

Pollution from coal-fired power plants can trigger heart attacks and strokes, worsen asthma, and even lead to premature death. In fact, each year in the U.S. 24,000 lives are cut short by pollution from coal-fired power plants.

“We owe it to our children to move beyond coal and invest in smarter, cleaner, healthier energy options,” said the Hoosier Chapter’s Executive Committee Chair.

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Across the country the Sierra Club’s coal campaign is fighting to stop destructive mining practices and the construction of dirty new coal plants and direct the proposed investments into energy efficiency, renewable resources and other clean alternatives.

To view the Federal Duke Air Permit Complaint Filing, follow this link: http://citact.org/sites/default/files/Federal_Duke_Air_Permit_Complaint_Filing_04-08.pdf

*Note: Citizens Action Coalition is not listed as a plaintiff on this filing. We have joined Sierra Club on the State appeal of Duke's air permit, but not on the Federal appeal. We continue to work closely with the Sierra Club to stop this coal-fired power plant from being built in Edwardsport, IN.