Children in the Southeast to Breathe Easier: 18 Coal Plants Shutting Down

These were the area's oldest, dirtiest coal plants. Good riddance.

People who like clean air scored a huge victory this morning: The Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public power company, agreed to shut down 18 coal-fired power plants, and install advanced pollution protection measures at another three dozen. The announcement is the outcome of a decade-long legal battle with various environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, a group of Southeastern states, and the E.P.A.

The agreement will officially resolve the legal challenges that the Sierra Club, the states, and the E.P.A. have been filing for years—all of which centered on charges that TVA had illegally extended the life of some of its coal plants without implementing modern pollution controls, as new laws demand.

Tiffany Schauer of Our Children's Earth Foundation, one of the groups who've led the legal charge, applauded the decision:

There is a demonstrated link between pollution and asthma in children. Thanks to today's action, every family in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee can breathe a little easier.


Huge credit is due, once again, to the Sierra Club and their Beyond Coal campaign, which has already successfully halted over 100 new coal plant constructions. Hopefully this victory with the TVA marks the start of a similarly successful run of closing down the oldest, dirtiest coal plants, and finding clean, renewable replacements.

Photo (cc) by TVA Web Team on Flickr