Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Stop the Pollution Exemption for Brunner Island Power Plant!

The Department of Environmental Protection has proposed a plan that will significantly reduce smog-causing pollution from most power plants in the state.  But it will not require any pollution reductions from the Brunner Island power plant!  We need to tell DEP and Governor Wolf that this is unacceptable.

Our next chance to do that will be at the Citizen's Advisory Council meeting on Tue, 4/21 at 10am at 400 Market Street in Harrisburg.  This committee has yet to provide a recommendation on the rule, and could still send DEP staff back to the drawing board.

Can you join us for the day in Harrisburg? Click HERE to volunteer to ride the van, drive the van, or meet us in Harrisburg.

As you know, the Susquehanna Valley suffers from dangerous levels of air pollution, earning an "F" from the American Lung Association, and failing to meet federal standards for smog.  The Brunner Island power plant is the largest polluter of smog-causing NOx in the region.  It is also the only large coal-fired power plant left in the state that has not installed state-of-the-art pollution controls for NOx.  This proposed rule would reward them for foot-dragging with an exemption from new stricter limits, rather than require them to install the controls their peers already have.  That means more smog for the Susquehanna Valley and southeastern PA.

On the bright side, DEP has responded to our concerns in the past.  The original version of the rule, published a year ago, did not require ANY coal-fired power plants to reduce their smog-causing pollution at all.  After public outcry and two revisions, most plants will have to reduce their pollution by up to 70%.  Let's make sure that Brunner Island is held to the same standard!

Please consider joining us for the day in Harrisburg. This could be our last best chance to affect the PA Smog Rule. If you are not comfortable with the online signup form, just reply to this email and let me know you are coming.

Jim Wylie

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Beyond Coal Philadelphia KXL and MLKJ!

January in our nation's fifth largest city proved to be most busy, with marches, rallies and social events.  On January 13, we partnered with our favorite partners-in-good, 350 Philly, to give a grassroots response to a misguided court decision!

Nearly 100 activists showed up for a march that was too wide for the sidewalk as planned.  So, Philly's finest cleared JFK Blvd, during rush hour, and we made our way to Senator Casey's doorstep, chanting and singing the whole way.

Sierra Club Beyond Coal Philadelphia has been a shining example of the City of Brotherly Love, with a sizable and active African American and Military Veteran volunteer base.  On January 19, the MLKJ March allowed us to show our social justice partners that the environmental movement stands by their side!

More to come from Philly!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Protesting the Council for Growth's Investors Meeting to Make Philly an Energy Hub

On December 5, 2014, a coalition of environmental groups protested an investors meeting directed at making Philly an "Energy Hub" for natural gas from the Marcellus Shale Formation. The meeting was the focus of an article in the Philadelphia magazine, entitled, "Philadelphia + a Pipeline (or Two) = America’s Next Energy Hub."  The agenda for the investors meeting was entitled, "Greater Philadelphia: The Next Energy Hub."  Of course, we've been fighting to make Pennsylvania an energy hub for sustainable forms of energy for years, but this meeting was focused on making Philly a depot for dirty fossil fuels.  Our activists made sure that the investors gathering at the meeting were aware that the citizens of Philly were not going to accept the pollution and environmental degradation that inevitably accompanies fossil fuel development.  In response to the media advisory, our protests were covered by, the local CBS affiliate, NPR, and other news sites

Here are some photos from the protest: 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hiking with Veterans in the Wissahickon on August 23

On August 23 at 10:45am, we will hike with veterans in the Wissahickon region of Fairmount Park.  The hike will begin at Valley Green Inn, follow Forbidden Drive and another trail , and a final leg along Rex Ave to Germantown Ave in  Chestnut Hill, where we will have a bite to eat.  Public transportation will be available in Chestnut Hill. 

The hike is 2 miles long; half of it is flat along Forbidden Drive, and the latter half climbs from the Wissahickon Valley up to Chestnut Hill, initially on a trail, then a cobblestone street, and finally, on a paved street. The total climb is ~300 feet in elevation, most of it over about a half mile starting from mile marker 1.  So it's a good climb toward the end to the hike.

The hike route is shown by the blue dotted line in the Google map below:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sierra Club Hiring an Associate Organizing Representative in Philadelphia

The Sierra Club is looking for an Associate Organizing Representative in Philadelphia, PA. Help continue Pennsylvania's transition beyond coal to clean energy by recruiting and engaging volunteers, working with media and cultivating grassroots networks in the Philadelphia area.

Interested candidates should have more than 1 year experience in grassroots organizing, strategy development, coalition building and media relations in environmental, social justice, political campaigns or related efforts." For all the details, and to apply, click here:

The Sierra Club's innovative Beyond Coal campaign ( is a nationwide grassroots effort to eliminate coal's contribution to global warming no later than 2030 and replace the existing coal infrastructure with a clean energy economy fueled by wind, solar, and geothermal.