Fighting Tennessee Valley Assumptions
Appalachian Voices recently joined forces with the Sierra Club and Tennessee Clean Water Network to call on the Tennessee Valley Authority to not overhaul its aging Gallatin Fossil Plant without fully considering cleaner and cheaper options. TVA unveiled a draft Environmental Assessment for plans to sink over $1 billion into the aging coal-fired power plant for new scrubbers, but their public comment period only provided a thirty day-window for citizens to weigh in via mail and did not include a public hearing. The letter by our network of groups urged TVA to complete a much more comprehensive Environmental Impact Study, extend the comment period, open up discussions for public hearings and provide key background documents supporting its assumptions.
TVA’s plans would raise customer bills for years to come, even though a recent report shows that if the government-owned utility invested the same amount of money in energy efficiency, it could replace the Gallatin coal plant by 2015 and save TVA customers billions of dollars over the next twenty years while simultaneously reducing dangerous air pollution.
Dirty Money and Dirty Power in Virginia
On the eve of an annual energy conference hosted by the governor of Virginia, Appalachian Voices joined Sierra Club and Chesapeake Climate Action Network to released a timely report revealing the influence that coal companies and utilities wield over Virginia energy policy. In the report, “Dirty Money, Dirty Power,” the groups analyzed more than a decade of publicly available data to draw connections between political campaign contributions and the poor record of Virginia’s government in advancing energy efficiency and renewable programs compared to other states. The day following the release, Tom Cormons and Nathan Jenkins of our Virginia team attended the governor’s conference — sponsored by energy giants such as Dominion Power, Alpha Natural Resources and Appalachian Power — and spread a little clean energy love in what was otherwise a very coal-friendly conference. Visit appvoices.org/reports.
The Appalachian Voice and Appalchian Voices would like to bid a fond farewell to our clever visual visonary, Meghan Darst, as she heads off to explore the marketing world wilds of Charlotte, N.C. Meghan started as an intern a year and a half ago, and soon jumped into a vital role on our Communications team. We will miss her sweet nature and willingness to tackle any graphics job — big or small. Best wishes!