Sierra Club wants coal out of Liberty’s portfolio


By Kathryn Reed

The Sierra Club is on a mission to get Liberty Utilities to stop using coal.

The national environmental group is behind a campaign to prevent the electric company from renewing its contract with North Valmy when it expires at the end of the year.

Liberty supplies power to the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin, Truckee, Alpine County and other areas.

“We are the last Californians using coal to heat our hot tubs,” Grace Anderson with the Tahoe Area Sierra Club chapter said at last week’s meeting.

According to the California Energy Commission, “Electricity supplies from existing coal and petroleum coke plants represented about 8 percent of the total energy requirements to serve loads in California during 2012. A little over 93 percent of this coal-based energy came from power plants located outside California.”

Valmy is in Humboldt County in Nevada.

Liberty gets 5.2 percent of its power from coal.

The problem with coal, according to the Sierra Club, is how dirty it is.

“Coal is the absolute dirtiest of all energy sources and the greatest contributor to global warming: coal-fired power plants are responsible for over 83 percent of the CO2 pollution since 1990, and have the highest ratio of CO2 output per unit of electricity out of all the fossil fuels,” according to Green America.

On Nov. 17, 2008, then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-14-08 requiring that “…[a]ll retail sellers of electricity shall serve 33 percent of their load with renewable energy by 2020.”

Based on the graphic below from Liberty’s website, the company is nowhere close to meeting that mandate.

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 10.23.26 PM

Liberty buys much of its power from NV Energy. NV in 2013 said it would begin eliminating coal immediately. However, the Valmy plant is expected to be online through 2025.

While the local Sierra Club chapter has not taken a stance on the issue, Anderson is working with the national Sierra Club to get the Canada-based power company to rethink how it does business.

There will be hearings about the Valmy plant before the state Public Utilities Commission later this year. The Sierra Club is on a letter writing campaign to the CPUC to stop Liberty from using coals.


About author

This article was written by admin


Comments (9)
  1. Dogula says - Posted: April 5, 2015

    “We are the last Californians using coal to heat our hot tubs,”

    That says it all right there.
    Rich, entitled environmentalists, demanding things be done their way, and damn the expense for people less fortunate than they are. Because make no mistake, what they want costs a heck of a lot more than coal does.

  2. Dan Stroehler says - Posted: April 5, 2015

    If you don’t like one vendor’s product, then get that product yourself from a different source, of which there are many: Solar, wood, Diesel or gas generator to name a few.

  3. legal beagle says - Posted: April 5, 2015

    Grace have you thought about reducing CO2 pollution by breathing less. Your hot tub waste tons of electricity and water. Shame on you.
    And while your on your detergent box take a trip to China or India and explain to them how to reduce their evil coal usage. BTW, where did you get your science degree in chemistry or physics. Maybe you should learn to think a little independently instead of spewing the party line.

  4. walter reinthaler says - Posted: April 5, 2015

    Dogula, I am with you. Not sure of the context she said that but it does not matter,it just sounds wrong.

  5. Gaspen Aspen says - Posted: April 5, 2015

    Now the Sierra Club knows what it’s like to want.

  6. sunriser2 says - Posted: April 5, 2015

    We should use more rainbow and unicorn piss powered generating plants.

    I sure hope all these Sierra Club members did the right thing for the planet and decided not to have children.

  7. Perry R. Obray says - Posted: April 5, 2015

    Maybe there will be future stiffer requirements on emissions. Remember the domestic auto manufactures claimed in the early 70s they couldn’t meet the tail pipe emissions required by law in a few years. Honda did it in 73 with leaded fuel while all the domestics I know of all used unleaded. Moral of the story, when something is more efficient, smog levels will most likely drop.

  8. Perry R. Obray says - Posted: April 5, 2015

    If every new building undergoes a competent analysis on passive solar design at minimum, we will not need as much energy funneled to these buildings. When a building is sold, probably should undergo a mandatory energy analysis.

    Maybe an energy guzzler tax should be evaluated for buildings refusing to use realistic alternative energy sources, especially the ones that use fuel. Smogging buildings needs to be evaluated as apparently around half the energy in this country is used for buildings.

  9. worldcycle says - Posted: April 5, 2015

    As noble as this may be the timing is off. 2.2% of hydro is soon to drop drastically. The chart shows we have many other options not being utilized. Is it possible to build the infrastrucure fast enough to keep up with our energy demands while cutting out coal generated power?