by Ned Ryan Doyle
[Ashville, NC] Mountain Xpress

The Sierra Club’s national campaign Beyond Coal got word earlier this month of a $30 million boost from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Duke-Progress Energy coal-fired plant at Lake Julian in Skyland is one of Beyond Coal’s list of priority coal plants to retire and local environmental group MountainTrue is gearing up to oppose the upcoming renewal of the plant’s air pollution permit.

The Beyond Coal campaign, an effort started in 2010 to replace at least half of the nation’s coal-fired power plants, aims to see half the nation’s coal-burning plants replaced with clean energy sources by 2017. The recent $30 million grant builds on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ previous $50 million commitment, according to a press release from the donor, and raises the foundation’s overall investment in the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign to $80 million…

The Lake Julian coal plant, located along the French Broad, has been a focus for several years for the WNC Beyond Coal campaign, which aims to raise public awareness and advocate reductions in energy-associated pollution. The campaign has focused on Lake Julian’s coal ash pond, groundwater water contamination and SO2 emissions from the plant.

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