Cleaning Up Coal-fired Power Plants

Coal plant

Roughly half of the electricity generated in the United States still comes from burning coal in power plants. While touted as cheap energy, coal exacts a price far higher than what we pay in utility bills. Burning coal for electricity produces 34 percent of global warming pollution in the United States, releases harmful toxic pollution into our air and water and prevents us from building a clean energy future. Launch the interactive feature to learn more about pollution from coal plants.

Despite these and other impacts, the coal power industry still wants to build new coal-fired power plants, even though cleaner, safer alternatives exist. Earthjustice is working to break our addiction to coal in order to create a level playing field for a clean, renewable energy future.

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Featured Stories

In this episode of the podcast Down to Earth, Dr. Alan H. Lockwood discusses coal’s dirty characteristics and why cleaning up air pollutants could result in trillions of dollars of health-related benefits in the United States.
In the heart of coal country, an old power plant may quit its polluting coal habit, thanks to relentless pressure from Earthjustice attorneys. The Big Sandy coal-fired power plant burns through 90 railroad cars of coal daily. A near billion dollar upgrade was proposed—but the price tag would have been passed along to Kentucky ratepayers.
Earthjustice Attorney Jan Hasselman stopped a coal scheme by mining industry documents. Read a Q&A interview with Jan, and learn about the coal industry's plans for coal export facilities up and down the West Coast that would eventually export tens of millions of tons per year
The great environmental costs of our coal addiction are changing the investment landscape for energy. Investors, increasingly skeptical of the solvency of new coal-fired power plants, are tightening their purse strings. An expert investor explains why they're right to do so.
In 2007, Earthjustice successfully opposed Florida Power and Light's proposal to build what would have been America's largest coal-fired power plant. Two years later, the utility announced plans to harness a different kind of energy: solar.
Efforts to curb air pollution from coal plants have unfortunately transferred the waste stream from air to water. The New York Times investigated this topic as part of a series called Toxic Waters. Earthjustice attorney Abbie Dillen was interviewed.
Take Action! President Obama and the EPA have announced a first-ever federal carbon pollution standard for every new power plant built in America. Be a part of this change.