Coal – Oregon’s Dirty Little Secret

Nearly 40% of Oregon’s power comes from coal, which is more than both Washington and California. We pride ourselves on being green and sustainable, yet we still rely on dirty 19th century methods to power our communities. Oregon has long been a leader on environmental issues and now that we face the most important challenge of our lifetime, Global Warming, we must lead the nation towards a clean energy future.

This is about the future of our children, our beloved wild spaces and our planet. We must take responsibility for our destructive energy use and begin to move beyond coal. If Oregon can break from the shackles of Big Coal, then we can lead the entire Northwest towards a renewable energy future that protects our communities’ health and strengthens our economy.

There is no better time than now. With President Obama we can make strides we thought were never possible. Investors, government, and the public alike are realizing that coal is not only destructive, it also doesn’t make economic sense. Now we have the opportunity to end our reliance on dirty coal power by becoming more energy efficient, and investing in clean, renewable wind and solar power.

Oregon can lead the Northwest towards a clean energy future by first replacing the Boardman Coal Plant which spews out 5 million tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) every year, and second, by stopping the importation of 20% of our power from dirty coal-producing states. We have an opportunity to both reduce our dependence on coal-fired power and launch a more prosperous economy in Oregon through long term, sustainable jobs that will lead the Northwest region in clean, renewable electricity generation.

We need you to help us realize our goal of a Coal-Free Oregon! Cesia Kearns and Robin Everett are the lead organizers for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. To get involved, contact Robin Everett at or call (503) 238-0442 x307.

2 Responses to Coal – Oregon’s Dirty Little Secret

  1. Dee Garrett says:

    Coal is dirty and we can do better. Here’s the rub. Coal means living wage jobs. Boardman means jobs, benefits, retirement security and support for the local economy (such as it is). It would be helpful to talk in terms of transitions – how do we replace coal and hydropower? Can we do better than cliches and rhetoric.

  2. The Salem Film Festival, which runs April 17-26 at Salem Cinema, is featuring several films with an environmental message, part of the festival’s commitments to current issues and social relevance.
    Here are some of the films.

    Director Sam Bozzo’s documentary “Blue Gold: World Water Wars,” which is an Oregon premiere, reveals how we are polluting, diverting, pumping and wasting our limited supply of fresh water at a rapid rate as population and technology grow. The rampant overdevelopment of agriculture, housing and industry are explored amid increasing demand for fresh water beyond the world’s finite supply. Bozzo, who will attend the festival, filmed in nearly a dozen
    countries and followed several examples of people fighting for the basic rights to water.
    The film shows at 5:30 p.m. April 18 and 7 p.m. April 22.

    “Saving Luna,” directed by Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit, explores the touching dilemma of a baby killer whale who gets separated from his family in a remote Vancouver Island fjord. When Lune seeks companionship from people, he breaks a fundamental barrier between humans and wild beings. This shattering of convention leads to joy, confusion and anger.The filmmakers become involved in the efforts to protect Luna, as more and
    more people advocate Luna’s death.
    The film shows at 4:45 p.m. April 25 and 2:30 p.m. April 26.

    “Fuel,” directed by Josh Tickell, follows the filmmaker’s whirlwind 12-year journey around the world as he tracks the rising domination of the petrochemical industry and seeks solutions to America’s addiction to oil.”Fuel” shows us the way out of the mess we’re in by explaining how to replace every drop of oil we now use, which creating green jobs and keeping our many here at home. Tickell and an array of environmentalists, policy makers and entertainment notables take us through our ignominious energy past and illuminate a hopeful, achievable future. The film shows at 2:15 April 25.

    “Ice Bears of the Beaufort,” a Pacific Northwest premiere, is director Arthur C. Smith III’s moving plea to save one of the world’s most powerful and sometimes playful animals. The Beaufort Sea coast is explored as a critical polar bear habitat endangered by efforts to drill for oil. The film was five years in the making and features a colorful, cinematic portrait of Alaskan polar bears never before captured. The body of the documentary chronicles polar bear activity and year-round use of the coastal and off-shore areas of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and the adjacent Beaufort Sea. Arthur C. Smith III and Jennifer Smith will attend the 12:45 April 25 and 12:30 p.m. April 26 showings.

    More information on the festival is available at

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