Sign-up for Energy Action Alerts

CitizenVox: Standing Up to Corporate Power

Coal Links

Stopping Dirty Coal


Coal is the dirtiest way to supply the nation with energy, and one of the lead contributors to climate change. Coal is a threat to the health of the planet and the communities in which it is mined and burned. Coal-fired power plants release many dangerous pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, mercury and lead. Emissions from coal plants complicate diseases such as asthma, cardiac pulmonary disease and many other circulatory and respiratory conditions, and studies have shown a statistically significant link between mercury and increased autism rates.


Dr. James Hansen, the first scientist to warn the US Congress of the dangers of climate change and director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies has said,


“It remains possible, and not entirely painful” to address global warming. “The most important step... would be to prohibit the construction of coal-fired power plants...” (Houston Chronicle, Oct 25, 2007).


Out of concern for human health, environmental quality, and the dangers of climate change, Public Citizen opposes the use of coal as an energy source.


Stopping the Texas Coal Rush


Texas already has more operating coal-fired facilities than any other state. In 2007, an additional 18 coal plants were pending as companies rushed to escape stronger environmental regulations. In part as a result of the hard work of groups like Public Citizen Texas, 11 of those plants were stopped in their tracks.


But the threat from coal is far from over. Texas still has 12 proposed coal and pet coke fired power plants



If all these 12 proposed plants were built, Texas would emit an additional:

  • 77 million tons of carbon dioxide every year
  • 53,630 tons per year of SO2
  • 29,660 tons per year of NOx
  • 14,180 tons per year of PM
  • 3,434 pounds per year of Mercury



Public Citizen Texas works to organize community members opposed to new coal plants in their area, and has helped establish a non-profit advocacy group in almost every community in Texas with a pending plant. Public Citizen Texas also works with the Legislature to create new state-wide policies relating to coal plants and their permitting processes, and advises cities owning or purchasing power from coal plants on alternative ways of meeting their energy needs.

For more information about what you can do to stop a coal plant planned for your community, contact us or join the Coal Block community .


For more links about Texas coal click here.

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.