Solution image

Hitt: “Wherever you live in this country, there are decisions being made right now about where your electricity will come from, and those are decisions that need your voice.”

That’s Mary Anne Hitt, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. The campaign works at the grassroots level to accelerate the transition to clean energy.

Hitt: “It’s important to remember that most of the decisions about how we get our electricity are not made in Washington DC. They are made at the state level and the local level by state regulators, utility commissions, utilities themselves.”

The Beyond Coal campaign helps concerned community members get a seat at the table, to weigh in when local decisions are made. For example, when a new coal burning power plant is proposed, permits are required, and this is an opportunity for the public to intervene.

”Helping Click To Tweet

The approach is working. Together with other groups, Hitt says the campaign has stopped more than 180 new coal power plants from being built, and put about half the nation’s existing coal plants on track to retire.

Hitt: “This unsung grassroots movement has created a sea change in how we make electricity in America.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

Sara Peach

Sara Peach is the Senior Editor of Yale Climate Connections. She is an environmental journalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Environmental Health News, Grist, and...