IEEFA Energy Finance 2016: “It’s No Longer ‘Someday We’ll Have Renewables,’ It’s Here”

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享“Continuing declines in energy market prices will dramatically increase competitions from wind and solar, which means increased risk for coal-fired plans under capacity performance plans.”That’s David Schlissel of IEEFA at an Energy Finance 2016 session today explaining regional trends in electricity-generation markets nationally, noting how utility companies in West Virginia and Ohio are frantically seeking ratepayer bailouts for coal-fired plants that have becoming increasingly uncompetitive.Schlissel, director of resource planning analysis at IEEFA, said “energy market prices are going to be really low for a really long time, which is about the worst possible for coal plants.”The coal-industry takeaway: “Low energy market prices mean reduced revenues and lower profits … this has led and will continue to lead to coal plant retirements and reduced generation at those plants.”Schlissel noted the rise of renewables—wind in particular—in several U.S. electricity markets including PJM Interconnection, which serves all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.“Gas, wind and solar are dramatically replacing coal in PJM,” he said. “More renewables are on the way. It’s no longer ‘someday we’ll have renewables,’ it’s here.”Schlissel also noted the dramatic rise of wind-powered generation by ERCOT, the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas, which serves most of that state.“Wind provided 18.4 percent of energy in ERCOT in November 2015 … that’s almost a fifth, pretty impressive,” he said, noting that ERCOT’s coverage map includes Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. “We’re not talking Montana. It’s a lot of cities.Schissel said also that solar is gaining ground in ERCOT, albeit at a slower pace than wind. IEEFA Energy Finance 2016: “It’s No Longer ‘Someday We’ll Have Renewables,’ It’s Here”last_img read more

Subsidizing Declining Appalachian Coal Seen as Having ‘Marginal’ Effect

first_imgSubsidizing Declining Appalachian Coal Seen as Having ‘Marginal’ Effect FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享St. Louis Post-Dispatch:Appalachian coal, high in sulfur and costly to mine, has been losing market share to other American coal-producing regions for years. Looking to stem the tide, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice last week proposed that the federal government subsidize coal-fired power plants that buy from Appalachian mines by $15 a ton, up to $4.5 billion per year.The proposed subsidy has predictably come under fire from politicians and coal producers beyond Appalachia, including those in the Illinois Basin and St. Louis-based companies such as Peabody, which operates the country’s largest mine in Wyoming.“It wouldn’t be fair to incentivize one type of coal over another,” said Phil Gonet, president of the Illinois Coal Association. “This violates the principle that I thought the coal industry was following, that we want to do away with subsidies. We want a level playing field, where all kinds of energy can compete.”He says competition between coal-producing regions is nothing new, and notes that it’s often the case that one benefits at the expense of another.A clear example occurred in 1990, when passage of the Clean Air Act steered demand away from coal producers in Appalachia and Illinois in favor of lower-sulfur coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.Other policies also shifted the balance of power toward Wyoming in recent decades, said Rob Godby, professor of energy economics at the University of Wyoming. Deregulation of railroads in the 1980s, for instance, enabled the state’s mines to cost-effectively ship coal as far as the Southeast.The economies of scale enjoyed in the Powder River Basin — where just 12 mines account for 40 percent of the nation’s coal production — give Wyoming another advantage that other coal regions can’t match.But Wyoming mines, too, are feeling pressure, as competition from cheaper, cleaner natural gas erodes market share.That’s why Godby can see why Justice’s idea and other pro-coal rhetoric has traction. For decades, roughly half the nation’s electricity was generated by coal, and just in the last 10 years, that share has plummeted to about 30 percent, thanks to surging natural gas consumption. A shift of that magnitude, he says, is bound to be jarring.Godby, though, says the policy would only provide marginal help, noting that power plants are optimized to use specific fuel types and can’t easily convert from one to another. And it wouldn’t address the challenge presented by natural gas.Even with Trump as a professed champion of coal, it’s far from certain that the subsidy advocated by Justice would ever happen. As Godby points out, such a move would aid one Republican-dominated coal region at the expense of another, and would betray the party’s ideological opposition to market interference.More: ‘It’s hard to lift all boats’: Talk of Appalachian subsidy stokes competition among coal-producing regionslast_img read more

Dominion suspends work on Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Platts:Dominion Energy has suspended construction on the full 600-mile route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, except for some ‘stand-down’ activities, after an appeals court stay last week, the company told the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday.Dominion said its action to halt work on the natural gas project was in response to the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals’ stay of implementation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s biological opinion and incidental take statement. Both documents relate to the project’s impact on vulnerable species.The court stay is in effect pending review of environmentalists’ challenge to the documents, and oral argument in the case is scheduled in March (Defenders of Wildlife, et al., v. US Fish and Wildlife Service, 18-2090).Dominion, however, has called the stay “overly broad” and filed an emergency request that the court clarify the geographic scope of the stay or reconsider its pause. Only four species and about 100 miles of the project in West Virginia and Virginia are involved, it said, suggesting, for instance, that those species are not present in North Carolina.The 1.5 Bcf/d pipeline project is designed to move Appalachian shale gas to downstream Mid-Atlantic markets.More: Dominion suspends work on full route of Atlantic Coast Pipeline natural gas project after court stay Dominion suspends work on Atlantic Coast natural gas pipelinelast_img read more

Cloud Peak: 2018 coal sales down, net losses up

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Cloud Peak Energy Inc. on March 15 reported full-year 2018 net loss of $718.0 million, or $9.49 per share, compared to a loss of $6.6 million, or 9 cents per share, in 2017.Cloud Peak reported sales of 49.7 million tons of coal at an average realized sales price of $12.11 per ton, compared to 57.8 million tons of coal at an average realized sales price of $12.17 per ton in 2017.2018 revenue amounted to $832.4 million, declining from $887.7 million in 2017. Adjusted EBITDA totaled $67.3 million, down from $104.9 million a year ago.Cloud Peak noted that production issues are still ongoing at their Antelope mine, due to weather-related spoil failures after heavy rains in 2018. Export prices also “declined significantly” for the company’s logistics business in the fourth quarter of 2018.More: Cloud Peak widens full-year 2018 loss as weather-related mine issues continue Cloud Peak: 2018 coal sales down, net losses uplast_img read more

CEO says Michigan utility ‘totally transforming’ its electric generation

first_imgCEO says Michigan utility ‘totally transforming’ its electric generation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bridge Magazine:Coal once reigned supreme on Michigan’s electricity grid. Not anymore.Touting landmark goals to slash carbon dioxide emissions that speed global warming, Michigan’s biggest utilities are shuttering coal plants in favor of cheaper generation from natural gas and renewables like wind and solar.That includes DTE Energy, which provides electricity to 2.2 million customers in southeast Michigan. The utility last month said it planned to reach its goal of cutting emissions 80 percent by 2040, a decade earlier than it planned just two years ago.The plan involves closing three coal plants by 2022, a year earlier than originally planned, and building a $1 billion natural gas plant in St. Clair County to replace the lost coal. DTE also plans to add more wind power in the next few years before it dramatically ramps up solar.  “We’re just totally transforming the way we generate power,” CEO Gerry Anderson told Bridge Magazine in a recent interview.More: DTE chief: We’re cutting carbon because it’s ‘defining issue of our era’last_img read more

Enel completes largest battery storage project in New York City

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Enel X has completed the largest battery storage project in New York City, using an unusual business model to break through in a tough market.Enel X — technically Demand Energy, later acquired by Enel — was the first to crack the code. The company built the Marcus Garvey Apartments battery in 2017, which offered resilient backup to an affordable housing community, while supplying peak power for utility Con Edison so it could avoid a costly substation upgrade. That project looks quaint by today’s standards: just 300 kilowatts/1,200 kilowatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries.The new battery delivers 4.8 megawatts/16.4 megawatt-hours, making it the largest grid battery in the five boroughs of New York City, according to Wood Mackenzie’s database of energy storage projects. It’s a sign that large-scale urban storage development is possible in the New York market, which sprang to life recently with help from a bevy of state policies and incentives.“While the value of energy storage in such a complicated and congested region made such deployments inevitable, it’s a testament to the maturing industry that such a project could move forward given the tough regulatory hoops to jump through, particularly surrounding safety,” said Daniel Finn-Foley, WoodMac’s director of energy storage research.Enel X leases space for the battery from real estate firm Related Companies. Though the battery will sit at the company’s Gateway Center, a big-box store mall in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood, the battery connects in front of the meter for direct control by Con Ed. The battery makes money by delivering capacity to the utility as part of its Brooklyn-Queens Neighborhood Program, which uses flexible resources to defer expensive grid upgrades (The Marcus Garvey system participated in the same program).Several other growth opportunities for storage are emerging. Con Ed is wrapping up a bulk storage procurement that called for 300 megawatts/1,200 megawatt-hours to be online by the end of 2022. New York State also is working on an air quality rule that would push the dirtiest peak power plants to switch to cleaner technology, like battery storage. The owners of the Ravenswood Generating Station on the East River recently got permission from regulators to demolish 16 old combustion turbines and replace them with 316 megawatts of battery storage. [Julian Spector]More: Enel builds New York City’s biggest battery, with a twist Enel completes largest battery storage project in New York Citylast_img read more

Saudi company ACWA Power signs deal to build 1GW wind farm in Uzbekistan

first_imgSaudi company ACWA Power signs deal to build 1GW wind farm in Uzbekistan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享 Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan has signed a deal with Saudi Arabian developer ACWA Power worth potentially over $1bn for a wind farm with capacity of up to 1GW. The agreement is valued at between $550m and $1.1bn for a project of 500MW to 1GW.The wind deal is part of a clutch of agreements between Uzbekistan and ACWA Power, including a 25-year power purchase agreement, with a total investment value of $1.2bn for a 1500MW natural gas power plant.Uzbek energy minister Alisher Sultanov said: “These newly agreed power projects represent a historic milestone for Uzbekistan and supports our mission to strengthen energy security through self-sufficient power sources.”ACWA Power chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said: “ACWA Power is on a dynamic growth path and our priority has been to expand and extend our geographic footprint in Central Asia. The market has an economically vibrant landscape that favours private investment and power sector fortification and this is where we can make a great contribution.”More: Saudi developer to build 1GW Uzbeki giantlast_img read more

Laying it on The Line

first_imgAppalachian activists answer Al Gore’s calls for civil disobedience to stop coal. But can direct action do more harm than good? Before dawn on September 15, thirty protesters entered the construction site for Dominion Energy’s proposed coal-fired power plant in Wise County, Virginia. Nine of them locked themselves to 50-gallon drums, forming a human blockade at the main entrance to the site. Two chained themselves to the main gates. A banner, lit by solar power, stretched across the road saying “Renewable Jobs to Renew Appalachia.” The action halted construction on the site for the better part of the morning, and 11 activists were arrested and charged with trespassing and unlawful assembly.The Wise County blockade is just one in a series of civil disobedience actions designed to show opposition to coal-fired power plants and mountaintop removal practices. In July, over 100 people marched in front of Zeb Mountain, a mountaintop removal site in Eastern Tennessee. Last June, in Washington D.C., hundreds of students protested in front of the regional headquarters of Citibank, one of the largest financial supporters of the coal industry. In April, eight protesters were arrested for locking themselves to bulldozers to stop the construction of Duke’s Cliffside coal-fired power plant in North Carolina.Frustrated with the current political and legislative system, some environmental activists are using civil disobedience to turn Appalachia into a public battleground against coal-fired power. The demonstrations have polarized the environmental movement: mainstream nonprofits like the Sierra Club officially repudiate civil disobedience, opting to use political pressure and litigation to effect change. But as mainstream America becomes more informed about the destructive practices of King Coal and outraged by the political system’s inability to deal with the situation, can peaceful civil disobedience be the catalyst for environmental change in the 21st century as it was for social change in the 20th century? Or will these acts only alienate the environmental movement just as it is finally breaking into the mainstream?* * *Chris Irwin has been arrested 16 times, all in the name of Mother Earth. As an activist and defense attorney, Irwin has worked on environmental campaigns across the United States, but says he’s never seen a political system so compromised as the one that regulates coal.“Nothing is working. We’re slowing down coal and mountaintop removal, but we’re not stopping it.”Irwin works with United Mountain Defense, an Eastern Tennessee based group battling mountaintop removal in the Volunteer State as well as the creation of coal-fired power plants throughout the Southeast. The root of Irwin’s frustration lies in the enormous influence King Coal has over the political process.Most existing power plants don’t comply with federal clean air standards established by the Clean Air Act. Even worse, companies operating the power plants are given permits to build new plants that also will not comply with the Clean Air Act.Coalitions of states and environmental organizations have sued the Environmental Protection Agency repeatedly in an attempt to force them to enforce existing laws, but the EPA has continued to drag its feet. In April 2007, the Supreme Court stepped in and directed the EPA to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants. A year later, 18 states, two cities, and 11 environmental groups were forced to sue the EPA again for failing to follow the court ruling and regulate emissions.While the lawsuits over existing coal-fired power plants pile up, 28 new coal-fired power plants are currently under construction in the United States and another 20 have permits or are near the start of construction.And that’s just the production side of the coal issue. The extraction of coal through mountaintop removal mining is even more controversial. Coal companies can legally blow up mountain tops and dump mining waste into streams and valleys, thanks to a Bush Administration’s revision of the Clean Water Act. As a result, 470 mountains have been beheaded and 1,200 miles of Appalachian streams have been buried. Last month, the Bush Administration proposed further weakening of the Clean Water Act, gutting a buffer zone rule that prohibited mining activity within 100 feet of flowing streams. This was one of the last regulatory measures in the Clean Water Act protecting rivers from mountaintop removal.Appalachian communities can’t even turn to their local elected officials for help. Many politicians from states most affected by the coal industry’s practices are also some of King Coal’s most ardent supporters. In West Virginia, Governor Joe Manchin (D) has proposed building a series of liquid coal plants, while Senator Robert Byrd (D), one of the most powerful politicians in Washington, has stood on the Senate floor adamantly supporting mountaintop removal and fictitious ‘clean coal.’This impotent political system has led even mainstream politicians and scientists to call for acts of civil disobedience. In September, former vice president Al Gore said, “If you’re a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration.”It’s not the first time Gore has spoken out in favor of civil disobedience. In an August 16, 2007, New York Times article, Gore said, “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.”Dr. James Hansen, the top climate scientist at NASA and the first scientist to bring global warming to the government’s attention in the ‘80s, has uttered similar sentiments, declaring, “It seems to me that young people, especially, should be doing whatever is necessary to block construction of dirty coal-fired power plants.”* * *Gore and Hansen are literally telling a generation of Americans to break the law in defense of a higher moral law. Not surprisingly, these comments have disturbed many in the mainstream environmental movement who have spent decades distancing themselves from illegal acts of civil disobedience.“That [civil disobedience] is fundamentally the wrong approach,” says Cale Jaffe, a staff attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). “Illegal protests are contrary to our collective mission to use legal pressure to oppose coal-fired power. I don’t think someone can appeal to the power of the law to achieve a just result and ignore the law in the process. You can’t have it both ways.”Instead of civil disobedience, the Southern Environmental Law Center depends on policy advocacy and legal pressure. These are the same tactics the Sierra Club, the nation’s largest environmental organization, uses to fight environmental battles from coal to deforestation.By and large, environmental battles in the United States are waged at the negotiation table and in the courtroom, fought by lawyers in suits, not hippies in Birkenstocks. And they’ve achieved some great successes, even in the coal arena. Legal and political pressure led Florida to cancel several plans for new coal plants. Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) of Kansas vetoed a new coal power plant in her state. And California has not only banned coal plants within the state, but also stopped importing coal power burned in other states. In total, the Sierra Club has helped kill more than 60 proposed coal-fired power plants.“We’re seeing coast-to-coast victories against coal-fired power plants,” says Bruce Nilles, director of the club’s National Coal Campaign. “We use a mix of litigation and public outreach and education to fight these new plants. The lawsuits give us time to educate the public and look at all the choices. With an informed public, no one says, ‘Let’s burn coal.’”However, curbing emissions from existing coal-fired power plants has been more challenging. Most of the 600 existing coal plants in the U.S. operate in violation of the Clean Air Act, which the EPA is unwilling to address.“It’s a long road just to get compliance on existing plants,” says Cale Jaffe, senior attorney with Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). “We’re suing Duke Energy in North Carolina over their failure to comply with clean air laws on their existing plants. We won unanimously in the Supreme Court, but the case is back in the lower courts, being fought again. There’s still a long way to go.”SELC is in a similar legal battle over Duke Energy’s new Cliffside power plant, which doesn’t use the best available technology to capture mercury and other emissions and would commit North Carolina to 40 more years of coal-fired energy. Even though the permits for the plants are being legally challenged in court, Duke has already begun construction of the facility.And in the Mid-Atlantic, the Piedmont Environmental Council is one of several organizations opposing the Department of Energy’s National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors. These corridors give power companies the right to seize public and private lands to build giant transmission lines, which will ensure the nation’s dependence on coal-fired power for decades to come. More legal challenges are expected.All of these environmental law groups depend on their legal standing and nonprofit funding to continue fighting the coal companies in the courtroom. While mainstream environmental groups often sympathize with activists’ concerns, they cannot officially endorse their actions for a couple of reasons: not only does illegal activity compromise their legal standing before the court, but many nonprofit funding sources want to steer clear of activists participating in civil disobedience.Jaffe warns that acts of civil disobedience like the one in Wise County, Va., could undermine the anti-coal movement by alienating the general public. “In a relatively conservative state like Virginia, unfortunately, those protests are used as ammunition to create the false stereotype that environmentalists are fringe extremists. I don’t think there’s anything fringe about what these protestors are doing, and I respect their motives, but their actions are often misunderstood.”* * *“No social movement in history has succeeded without action,” says Adrienne Brown, the executive director of the Ruckus Society, a national organization that teaches grassroots organizations how to stage effective acts of civil disobedience. “Civil disobedience is the act of getting arrested to challenge an unjust political power. There is a constant need for civil disobedience.”Mahatma Gandhi often used civil disobedience, especially during his year long “Salt Campaign” where 100,000 Indians were jailed for deliberately violating the Salt Laws. “Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good,” he said. Henry David Thoreau refused to pay war taxes in 1849 because “when a person’s conscience and the laws clash, that person must follow his or her conscience.” And Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement—which relied upon civil disobedience—appealed to a higher moral law than the Jim Crow laws on the books.In the spirit of Gandhi and King, members of the group Rising Tide chained themselves to the bulldozers at the Cliffside construction site earlier this year to protest the illegal permitting of the coal-fired power plant.“The regulatory processes are intrinsically biased toward the corporations, and they don’t take public opinion into account,” argues Abigail Singer, a member of Rising Tide. “Taking direct action is a way for the powerless to empower themselves.”Bruce Nilles with the Sierra Club understands Singer’s frustration, even though his organization does not support illegal acts of civil disobedience.“There is a strong argument that the rule of law is not working,” he says. “People are disillusioned with the political process, and that’s not good for America.”For proof of King Coal’s undue influence on the political process, activists point to the individuals that the Bush Administration has appointed to key positions overseeing environmental policy: Steven Griles, James Connaughton, and John Pemperton—all former or current lobbyists for the coal industry—have led efforts to dismantle environmental regulations and encourage more coal-fired power plants. King Coal has been entrenched in American politics for decades, but these Bush-appointed coal and energy company advocates have literally been shaping federal policy and environmental regulations to favor the coal industry and mountaintop removal for the last eight years, which has led to massive infringements on human rights for the citizens of Appalachia.According to the EPA’s own report in 2003, “The impact of mountaintop removal on nearby communities is devastating. Dynamite blasts needed to splinter rock strata are so strong that they crack the foundations and walls of houses. Mining dries up an average of 100 wells a year and contaminates water in others. In many coalfield communities, the purity and availability of drinking water are keen concerns.”Studies also show that coal-fired power plants have created “hot spots” of lung disease with increased levels of asthma and respiratory-related deaths. The EPA estimates pollution from these power plants cause 24,000 premature deaths a year. Forget the environmental impacts; coal is literally killing American citizens.“People throughout the coalfields are outraged,” says Chris Irwin with United Mountain Defense. “We’ve been colonized for the last 100 years. The communities that are richest in resources are some of the poorest economically and physically. In Tennessee, we’re having regional drought meetings while corporations are blowing up clean watersheds to mine coal. That’s our drinking water. People from Appalachia are willing to put their bodies on the line to fight this battle, now more than ever.”While Nilles disagrees with Irwin’s tactics, he wholeheartedly agrees with his sentiments. “The destruction from mountaintop removal is truly a national disgrace. This wouldn’t be happening anywhere else except for Appalachia. At the end of the day, [coal] is a moral issue.”Using morality as a defense for peaceful civil disobedience is becoming more prevalent in Appalachia and around the world. The 11 protesters who were arrested at the Wise County power plant pled guilty and accepted a $400 fine and 25 hours of community service. But in a statement to the court, protester Robin Markle said, “I went ahead with my actions knowing they were illegal because I am afraid for the future of our world. I feel that I would be acting in a far more morally reprehensible manner were I not to take a stand at this time.”This past September, six Greenpeace members used a similar defense when they were tried in England for scaling a 630-foot chimney at a coal-fired power plant and spray painting “Gordon,” the name of the British Prime Minister, on the stack. They were protesting the plans to build new coal plants at that site. The Greenpeace members admitted they trespassed and vandalized the plant, causing 35,000 pounds worth of damage, but pleaded not guilty based on “lawful excuse,” a law that gives a person the right to damage property in an attempt to stop further damage (similar to breaking down a door to fight a house fire). The Greenpeace members claimed their trespassing and vandalizing was justified because they were trying to prevent further global warming damage caused by increased emissions from more power plants. The jury agreed with them, acquitting the protestors of all charges.The Greenpeace verdict in England sent a message to Parliament about what that country’s citizens will no longer tolerate. After the trial, one of the Greenpeace Six said, “This verdict marks a tipping point for the climate change movement. When a jury of normal people say it is legitimate for a direct action group to shut down a coal-fired power station because of the harm it does to our planet, then where does that leave the government on energy policy?”* * *Still, acts of civil disobedience run the risk of alienating the general public. Chris Irwin and the United Mountain Defense ran into a reluctant conservative population when they first started protesting the Zeb Mountain mining site in Eastern Tennessee.“Doors were slammed in our faces, and miners screamed at us,” Irwin says. “We discovered that here in the South, you can’t show up grungy. We needed to shape our image more appropriately.”Instead of staging controversial actions that could alienate the very community that was being most affected by the mountaintop removal site, Irwin and United Mountain Defense planned an open, respectful demonstration, discussing the march beforehand with church groups, community leaders, and even the police. Perhaps most importantly, they abandoned the hippie garb and donned their Sunday best.“It’s amazing how differently people react to you when you’re wearing a suit,” Irwin says. “We had more than 100 protesters, church goers, hunters, people who support the Iraq War. We started our march with a prayer—a first for me. The four people who were arrested were wearing suits. The crowd sang ‘Amazing Grace’ as they were handcuffed. It’s not as sexy as a bunch of tree huggers hiding in Redwoods, but we noticed a huge difference in how we were received. The miners who used to scream at us from the sidelines were bowing their heads as we marched by. This may be the rusty buckle of the Bible Belt, but there’s a new movement toward stewardship in Christianity. And we’re reaching out to them.”Demonstrations like the Zeb Mountain March still may not be the preferred mode of action of environmental powerhouses like the Sierra Club, and there is no doubt that litigation has had success in fighting new coal-fired power plants, particularly outside the Southeast. But civil disobedience can do something that a lawsuit cannot do. Peaceful civil disobedience, when used appropriately, can create a movement. Marching for a cause can engage the public in a way that litigation never will.“To go at an industry as big as coal, we need a variety of different tactics,” says Scott Parkin of the Rainforest Action Network. “Litigation is important, regulation is important, but so is civil disobedience. These small groups in Appalachia are getting Dominion Energy’s attention—and more importantly, the attention of the general public.” last_img read more