For me, the holidays are a time to reflect on what we’ve achieved over the past year and look ahead to the challenges and possibilities the New Year holds in store. 2012 was a quite a year. Besides the obvious big story – the re-election of President Obama – here’s a list of my ten favorite stories of the year.
1. Coal Plant Retirements
The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign won scores of victories that will save lives, clean our air and water, and help solve the climate crisis. From the start of 2010 until now, we have helped seal the retirement of 126 coal plants, accounting for tens of thousands of megawatts of dirty energy that pollutes communities. Coal provided just 37 percent of our power this year, down from 50 percent just a few short years ago. In contrast, wind energy hit a historic milestone of 50,000 megawatts.
2. New Coal Protections
Despite the best attempts by coal lobbyists, the Environmental Protection Agency delivered the country’s first safeguards on mercury pollution and carbon limits for new power plants. Sierra Club supporters turned out in force at numerous public hearings and submitted over two million comments in support of these life-saving new standards.