The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is poised to invest over a billion dollars in the outdated, dirty Gallatin coal-fired power plant to keep it running at a time when other major electricity providers are choosing cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient energy options. Instead of wasting our money on a fossil plant that will continue to pollute our air, water, land and climate, TVA should replace the Gallatin coal plant with energy efficiency, conservation and clean renewable energy.
This is an urgent, critical issue that requires immediate action. TVA is making decisions on the future of the Gallatin plant in early February.
Sierra Club has launched a Beyond Coal Campaign in Tennessee with opportunities to sign petitions to TVA, write and send letters to the editor of your local paper and attend a “people’s public hearing” and much more. Here are some links for important actions and opportunities:
1. Learn more about this issue. Knowledge is power. Read the resources and reports found on the bottom of this page.
2. Sign up for Action Alerts from Tennessee Environmental Council. You can opt to receive ONLY emails containing action alerts or to receive our weekly email that will include any action alerts for the week.
3. Sign an online petition to TVA (be sure to include personalized comments)
5. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper, distribute postcard petitions and/or attend planning meetings with Sierra Club’s Health Energy Campaign. For more information contact chris.lunghino(at symbol)sierraclub.org OR click here for the Council’s Advocacy Toolkit.
6. More ways to get involved:
- Sign up for the Sierra Club Healthy Energy Campaign Team in your area
- Follow Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal TN Campaign for Gallatin on Facebook or Twitter
- Learn about the plant. See the resources below for in-depth information
Thanks for taking action on this important issue! We have included many resources below to help you learn more about the Gallatin Plant and the dangers of coal-fired power plants.
Gallatin Coal Plant Study – This report provides a brief overview of the Gallatin Plant, TVA Plans, threats associated with coal-fired power plants, and opportunities for change. Research and statistics compiled by Helen Li, policy intern for Tennessee Environmental Council.
Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign Resources Page – Includes fact sheets, research papers, video and more. Please also check out this excellent poll conducted on behalf Sierra Club in February 2013 which shows that the majority of Tennesseans strongly support a move toward energy efficiency instead of TVA investing billions of dollars on retrofits to coal plants.
Coal’s Assault on Human Health – This report from Physicians for Social Responsibility has takes a new look at the devastating impacts of coal on the human body. Coal combustion releases mercury, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and dozens of other substances known to be hazardous to human health. The report looks at the cumulative harm inflicted by those pollutants on three major body organ systems: the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, and the nervous system.
American Lung Association Report: Toxic Air The Case For Cleaning Up Coal-fired Power Plants – This 2011 report documents the range of hazardous air pollutants emitted from coal-burning power plants, the health consequences including cancer, and the urgent need to clean them up to protect public health. The website www.LungUSA.org/ToxicAirReport has updates and further information, documentation, and video.
Tennessee Healthy Energy Campaign – Close Gallatin Page – Includes specific reports on air and water impacts of Gallatin Plant, Synapse report excerpt and more.
Southeast Coal Ash Waste Website– Coal ash, the waste left over after coal is burned to generate power, contains concentrated amounts of hazardous heavy metals. This waste poses great risk to our drinking water, and this site has maps and other valuable information.
SourceWatch Gallatin Fossil Plant page – Lists plant and emissions data, legal challenges, deaths and disease attributable to Gallatin Fossil Plant, coal waste data, and much more. The site includes a video from Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), and it identifies the Gallatin plant as 17th on list of nation’s most polluting plants in terms of coal waste.
Union of Concerned Scientists: Water-Smart Power: Strengthening the U.S. Electricity System in a Warming World — A Report of the Energy and Water in a Warming World Initiative (EW3)–Many aging, water-intensive power plants are nearing the end of their lives. The choices we make to replace them will determine the water and climate implications of our electricity system for decades to come” Union of Concerned Scientists Website.
Cumberland River Aquatic Center for Aquatic Species – The center rears lake sturgeon, alligator gar and many species of endangered mussels to be released into habitats on the Cumberland River. TVA began shutting down operations and may relocate this facility in order to accomodate new scrubber technology and coal ash waste on site.
On February 7, Sierra Club hosted a People’s Public Hearing in Nashville. Tennessee Environmental Council participated in this event, which gave voice to concerned citizens, businesses, organizations and other community leaders, because TVA was not mandated to hold a public hearing on upgrades to the Gallatin Plant. Please find articles/media from event below:
Picture at top of page from TVA website.