News | February 23, 2009

Fighting Dirty Coal at New Power Plants

SELC is engaged at multiple levels in four southern states in advocating for clean energy to help meet future energy needs. Part of our strategy is to stop new, dirty coal-fired power plants from coming online:


  • On February 25, SELC made a strong case before the Virginia Supreme Court in our appeal of a “certificate of need” issued by the State Corporation Commission to Dominion Power for construction build a 585-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Wise County, in southwest Virginia. In addition, we have two lawsuits pending in state court against air pollution permits issued by the state Department of Environmental Quality.

North Carolina:

  • On February 12, we petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to object to an air pollution permit issued  by North Carolina to Duke Energy to expand its coal-fired power plant at Cliffside. This action is in addition to our citizen enforcement lawsuit in federal court and our appeal of the state air pollution permit.

South Carolina:

  • SELC presented strong evidence to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Conservation Board against Santee Cooper’s proposed Pee Dee coal plant. Although the board voted to approve the air pollution permit, every board member stated on the record that based on what they heard during the hearing, they fundamentally opposed the plant. We will continue our challenge of this plant in the state’s Administrative Law Courts. In other news, Gov. Sanford publicly stated his opposition to the plant, citing both cost and environmental concerns.


  • We are reviewing permit applications submitted by Power4Georgias to build an 850-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Washington County and will remain actively engaged as the state undergoes the permitting process. In addition, we are working with various partner groups to educate Georgians about the issue and better energy alternatives.