Share this Post:

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Tr-Ash Talk: Toolkit to Fight Against Coal


    SIGN-UP for our latest news and action alerts:
   Please leave this field empty

Facebook Fans

Related Blog Entries

by Chris Jordan-Bloch:

"It felt like I was waking up from a nightmare. I wasn't really sure what was true or false. I was confused. My heart was racing. I was excited. Maybe...

by Lisa Evans:
Tr-Ash Talk: GOP Rushes to Quash Protections for Coal Ash

Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and John Shimkus (R-IL) are on a mission to ram through an anti-public health, anti-public safety and anti-environmental c...

by Lisa Evans:
Tr-Ash Talk: Not In Our Drinking Water

Utility giant FirstEnergy Corp unveiled plans last week to barge 3 million tons of coal ash annually nearly 100 miles on the Monongahela and Ohio rive...

Earthjustice on Twitter

View Angela Garrone's blog posts
12 February 2013, 12:30 PM
Equips communities on how to take on coal burning

Note from Lisa Evans: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) last week released the "Coal Blooded Action Toolkit," which is a companion to its report, Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People, published jointly by the NAACP and Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and the Indigenous Environmental Network last November.

The 2012 report found low-income communities and communities of color are more likely to suffer the damaging effects caused by coal plant operations, including the disposal of toxic coal ash. Expressly designed for grassroots communities, the Coal Blooded Action Toolkit is a step-by-step guide on how to take action to address pollution from coal fired power plants, covering investigation, raising community awareness, litigation, direct action and much more. It is essential reading for those who care about protecting communities from toxic pollution and defending civil and human rights violated by the burning of coal.

The following Tr-Ash Talk guest post is written by Angela Garrone, Southeast Energy Research Attorney for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy:

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in conjunction with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and the Indigenous Environmental Network, released a report analyzing sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in conjunction with demographic factors, including race, income and population density. The report, entitled “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People,” demonstrates the urgent need for community action focused on shutting down coal plants located in low-income communities and communities of color.

Not only are low-income communities and communities of color more likely to suffer the immediate, local negative impacts caused by a coal plant’s operation (e.g. health problems caused by contaminated groundwater and poor air quality) but they are also the communities that will be disproportionally impacted by the effects of climate change.  In identifying and analyzing coal plants in terms of the communities in which they are located and the demographics of the people most immediately impacted by a plant’s pollution streams, Coal Blooded highlights issues relevant to both climate justice and environmental justice.

Coal Blooded systematically studies 378 coal-fired power plants nationwide and evaluates each plant in terms of its environmental justice performance—how the plant affects low-income communities and communities of color. This same type of analysis is also applied to coal companies in order to determine their corporate environmental justice performances. After conducting its analysis, each plant covered in the report is scored based on the following factors: SO2 and NOx emissions; total population living within three miles of the plant; the median income and percentage of people of color among the total population living within three miles of the plant.

Environmental justice.

In total, 75 plants got an “F” for their environmental justice performance grade (16 of these plants are located within the Southeast). Of the coal companies analyzed in the report, 12 companies received an “F”—including Duke Energy and Southern Company, who operate coal plants in the Southeast. Of the 5.9 million Americans who live within three miles of a coal-fired power plant, approximately 3.6 million live within three miles of a coal plant owned by one of these 12 “failing” companies.

In addition to the report, the NAACP has also released the Coal Blooded Action Toolkit aimed at empowering communities with the necessary framework and tools needed in the fight against coal. The toolkit is broken into five parts:

  1. Investigating Coal Pollution in Your Community
  2. Awareness-Raising and Education
  3. Determining the Ask and Mapping the Plan
  4. Infrastructure, and
  5. Taking Action/Media Outreach

Because the report was written to inform and appeal to multiple audiences (e.g. community organizers and activists, environmental organizers and activists, philanthropic organizations), the toolkit is designed to give each audience its own set of tools to utilize in furthering its particular goals. The toolkit identifies potential information sources and partner organizations as well as provides sample questionnaires, PowerPoint presentations and videos that community/environmental organizers can use in their efforts to close coal plants.

We at SACE applaud NAACP and its partner groups for undertaking such an important project and producing and distributing the tools and information communities will need to join in the fight against dirty coal. Sometimes we lose sight of the ground level impact coal plants have on those who live in their shadow.

Coal Blooded does an excellent job at bringing the focus back on these communities while teaching all of us how we can do more to help those who have been paying the highest costs for cheap coal.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <p> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.