Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Breaking News: Global Warming Victory

Posted by telecommatt on February 26, 2007

Below is the text of an email I just received. I’ll let the email speak for itself, but I think that this sort of thing is going to happen more often as public support, and more omportantly, public action, for green politics gains momentum. Here is the link to the New York Times article mentioned in the email.

**Breaking News**
Victory in Texas … Environmental Agreement Tied to Sale of Electricity Giant
Will Block Construction of Eight Dirty Coal-Fired Power Plants

Dear Friend,

Energy company sale includes tough global warming standards.

Thanks to the generous support of our online activists and donors, today is a truly historic day in the fight against global warming.

News just broke that Texas Pacific Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. are seeking to acquire Texas-based energy giant TXU Corp.

As part of the sale agreement, Environmental Defense helped negotiate an aggressive environmental platform that will, among other things:
Terminate plans for the construction of 8 of 11 coal-fired power plants TXU had hoped to build;
Stop TXU’s plans to expand coal operations in other states;
Endorse the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) platform, including the call for a mandatory federal cap on carbon emissions; and
Reduce the company’s carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Here’s a story in The New York Times describing how Environmental Defense helped negotiate this deal.

This is a huge victory for the environmental community. It sends a clear message about the undeniable momentum in our campaign calling for federal global warming legislation.

The story behind today’s announcement began last April when TXU announced alarming plans to build 11 dirty coal-fired power plants in Texas.

From the start, most business and political experts considered it a done deal. Texas Governor Rick Perry got personally involved, fast-tracking the permits and declaring “we’re not going to let these bureaucrats jerk us around.”

Even our own experts in our Texas office considered the odds of stopping the plants as remote, at best.

But the size of the proposal left us no choice but to aggressively oppose the plants. The 11 coal-fired plants would spew 78 million tons of global warming pollution per year, more than twice the expected carbon reductions from the historic California Clean Cars legislation.

So, Environmental Defense mobilized an all-out grassroots campaign targeting TXU and Texas Governor Rick Perry. Nearly 50,000 Environmental Defense members and activists took action, sending emails, attending public hearings across Texas and submitting public comments against the plants. More than 50 community and environmental groups signed on to our letter urging TXU to change its course.

We took out television, billboard and online ads. We reached out to allies in the Texas state legislature and we worked the legal and financial angles to keep the pressure on TXU.

Our efforts were designed to achieve three goals:
Stop as many of the plants as possible;
Prevent TXU from exporting its coal plant build-out to other states; and
Send a national message to other utility companies that the TXU plan is one they should reject.

It may have been a long shot when we started this campaign, but this weekend’s news meets each of these goals.

I want to thank everyone who took action on this campaign and supported our work with generous donations or other actions. We couldn’t have claimed this seemingly unattainable victory without your support.

Thanks for everything you help make possible,

Fred Krupp
President

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