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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Environmentalists to protest McDonnell's speech at coal breakfast

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Environmentalists will hold a protest Tuesday morning outside the downtown Richmond hotel where Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will be attending the annual legislative coal awareness breakfast.

McDonnell (R), who serves as chairman of the Southern States Energy Board, will be speaking to about 150 people at the Richmond Marriott about his goal of making Virginia the energy capital of the east coast and the coal industry's importance in doing that.

The breakfast is sponsored by the Southern States Energy Board, Eastern Coal Council, Virginia Department Mines Minerals & Energy, Virginia Tech/Virginia Coal & Energy Research Center, Virginia Coal Association, Virginia Mining Association, Appalachian Power Co., Dominion Energy and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative & the Electric Cooperatives of Virginia.

Glen Besa, state director of Sierra Club, said Virginians subsidize the coal industry each year though $45 million in tax credits and through health care and environmental costs. He said the General Assembly is considering legislation, which he said would further subsidize the industry by creating a loophole in Virginia's clean water laws for coal mine operations.

By Anita Kumar  | February 1, 2011; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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there is no such thing as "clean" coal energy. it is a filthy, dirty source of energy that is killing us and our land.
we need to stop wasting tax dollars on coal, and instead give those dollars to fund real clean sustainable sources of energy.

Posted by: MarilynManson | February 1, 2011 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Yawn .. so the coal-bashing Sierra Club announces that it still hates coal. Why is this news?

Posted by: jrmil | February 1, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

In today's news, Texas is having rolling power blackouts because of cold weather and a shortage of generating capacity.

Meanwhile, read how an environmental group brags on their web site about killing coal-fired power plants. Not to worry, they tell us, wind and solar will pull us through.

One of the first major coal industry setbacks came in early 2007, when environmental groups convinced Texas-based utility TXU to reduce the number of planned coal-fired power plants in Texas from 11 to 3. And now even those 3 proposed plants may be challenged. Meanwhile, the energy focus within the Texas state government is shifting to wind power. The state is planning 23,000 megawatts of new wind-generating capacity (equal to 23 coal-fired power plants).

Posted by: Chippewa | February 2, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yawn .. so the coal-bashing Sierra Club announces that it still hates coal. Why is this news?

Posted by: jrmil | February 1, 2011 10:18 AM
So, the environment-hating Republican party is helping Big Coal destroy our air and water quality in the name of corporate profits. I guess that's not really news either.

Posted by: billyvw | February 2, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

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