Sierra Club Campaigns for “None of the Above”

June 1, 2012

The Wall Street Journal featured an editorial this week highlighting the Sierra Club’s well-organized attack on natural gas. The editorial explains the organization’s roller coaster relationship with natural gas, noting the environmental group was for natural gas before it was against it. The Sierra Club previously advocated on behalf of natural gas, touting it as the “bridge fuel to the 21st century,” but ever since new technologies have made this abundant, American-made fuel more affordable, the Sierra Club has changed its tune with the launch of its “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign, largely modeled after its “Beyond Coal” plan.

The Sierra Club’s flip-flop on natural gas exposes the true ambition of extreme environmental groups — to end all affordable energy development in America. Finding their champion in President Obama, these powerful and well-funded groups continue to leverage their support to push their agenda. A major force behind the movement to block the Keystone XL pipeline, the Sierra Club was among the groups that seem to have convinced President Obama to reject the permit for this popular pipeline and jobs project. But if the Sierra Club ultimately gets its way, we could see energy prices go up and the lights go out across the country. The Sierra Club has filed lawsuits against practically every type of American energy project there is—including renewable projects. Below is just a sampling of recent lawsuits the Club has filed in its quest to take America “Beyond Energy.” 

Anti-Solar:

Three environmental groups have sued the federal government over its handling of a solar project in the Mojave Desert, saying it will harm the desert tortoise and its habitat.

-Bloomberg, March 2012 

Anti-Wind: 

Environmentalists are hoping a court will curb Southern California's growing wind energy industry, which they believe poses a threat to the endangered condor.

-San Jose Mercury News, April 2012 

Anti-Geothermal:

In the 1980s, heated community opposition on the Big Island curtailed the development of geothermal energy. A lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club, no less, was the final straw for one of the geothermal developers — True Geothermal Energy Co. — which after 10 years of trying to develop the resource decided to finally pack it up.

-Sustainable Business Oregon, May 2011

Anti-Nuclear:

The Seacoast Anti-Pollution League, along with two other nuclear safety groups, is taking a federal agency to court over the planned extension of the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant's operating license until 2050.

-Sea Coast Online, May 2012

Anti-Coal:

Four environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against two subsidiaries of eastern US coal producer Alpha Natural Resources, alleging operations in West Virginia are discharging selenium levels above state and federal water-quality standards. …

The Sierra Club and local environmental groups have filed numerous complaints against coal companies in Appalachia in recent years seeking judicial action against alleged water-quality violations, including selenium discharges. In some cases, settlements have been reached in which coal companies have agreed to spend tens of millions of dollars to build facilities to treat discharges.

-Platts, May 2012

Anti-Natural Gas:

Exporting natural gas from the United States is a "dirty and dangerous" game that puts people at risk, environmental group Sierra Club said.

The Sierra Club said it filed a formal protest to the U.S. Department of Energy challenging a proposal to export natural gas from a facility on Lake Charles in Louisiana.

-United Press International, April 2012 

Anti-Oil:

The Mississippi Sierra Club and The Gulf Restoration Network have asked a judge to block the state from enacting new regulations on offshore drilling. …

The groups contend the process is moving too fast and hasn’t been properly studied. They filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Hinds County Chancery Court seeking to block the drilling regulations as drafted.

-The Associated Press, March 2012 

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