Sierra Club anti-coal campaign has cost >1 million jobs

A recently released study has revealed that, if Sierra Club claims are accurate, then their anti-coal campaign has cost as many as 1.24 million jobs across the country.

The Sierra Club’s effort to transition away from coal-fired power in the US has potentially cost 1.24 million jobs in 36 states, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the National Mining Association.

The Beyond Coal Campaign’s mission, according to the Sierra Club, is to move away from coal by stopping construction of new coal-fired power plants, phasing out existing plants and keeping coal reserves in the ground and out of international markets.

By stopping construction of more than 150 coal-fired power plants, the campaign has “targeted for destruction 116,872 permanent jobs and an additional 1.12 million in construction jobs,” NMA said. The numbers were calculated by Energy Ventures Analysis using the Sierra Club’s information tracking proposed coal-fired power plants and coal plant employment data from the National Energy Technology Lab and RS Means Reed Construction Data, NMA said.

As I noted in a recent post on the pending mine and power plant closures in Texas,

The article reviews the reasons behind Luminant’s decision, describes how the regulation-forced closures will cost as many as 500 jobs, and then notes that “Eva Hernandez, a coordinator of the (Sierra Club’s) Beyond Coal campaign in Texas” and her employer “cheered” Luminant’s announcement” and claimed it as a “victory for all Texans who care about clean air.”

Of course the employees of the Sierra Club’s anti-coal campaign can smugly claim this victory given that, as the recipients of Bloomberg’s recent $50 million dollar handout, they all remain very secure and cozy in their homes and jobs.

With unemployment across the country comfortably over 9% for the past few years, it is especially distasteful to see a group of people whose primary purpose is to stop the provision of affordable, efficient coal-fueled energy effectively ‘spiking the ball’ when they hear news of hundreds more high-paying professional jobs and careers lost.

Sadly, a few hundred jobs in Texas doesn’t appear to have been sufficient for the Sierra Club. Again, if their own claims of having “stopped over 150 proposed coal-fired power plants” is accurate, the employees of this organization may be personally responsible for adding over 1.24 million people to this country’s unemployment lines.

So, one is forced to question the Sierra Club’s actual intent in this issue. If they were seriously concerned about reducing emissions, they should have invested Bloomberg’s $50 million donation into methods of improving the efficiency of energy generation, rather than redoubling their campaign to stop the productive effort of others and force people out of jobs.

06. October 2011 by Jason Hayes
Categories: Careers, Energy, EPA, Jobs, Power Generation, USA | Tags: , , , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. This is bunk. What the analysis does not mention is that because many of the power plants are now focused on gas fired power plants, they are building them instead of coal which then in turn creates jobs for the natural gas industry.

    • Back to the unsupportable assertions and poor arguments. “This is bunk” is not a very strong position. To steal a line from Monty Python, “An argument isn’t just contradiction. … Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.”

      I just listened to a presentation by two major utilities at the McGuire Woods/ACC Coal Industry Briefing in DC on October 20th. Both representatives agreed that gas facilities require 40% fewer employees than coal plants.