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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Thursday, July 23, 2009

    Stop Blackstone Coal

    The Blackstone Group and Sithe Global are ignoring the critical threat of global warming and rather than developing new, clean energy sources, are trying to develop three large, dirty coal-fired power plants in the United States. These include the Desert Rock Energy Project, the Toquop Energy Project, and the River Hills Energy Project. I want to highlight efforts to stop these three coal plants.

    And for those who wonder if taking action is worth it, so far this kind of activism have stopped as many as 100 proposed coal-fired plants so far as of this month. So yes, it is worth it. This comes from No Blackstone Coal:

    These three plants would produce over 2,500 megawatts of electricity for 50 years and, combined, would emit over 20 million tons of climate change-causing carbon dioxide every year, or over 1 billion tons of CO2 in the plants’ lifetimes. In addition, these plants would produce millions of tons of toxic pollutants in the form of airborne emissions and spent coal ash, including nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, mercury, selenium and a variety of heavy metals, while also displacing real opportunities for clean, renewable energy and the jobs that come with them...

    The Blackstone Group is one of Wall Street’s largest private equity and investment firms with assets listed under management worth nearly $95 billion at the end of 2008. They currently own approximately 130 companies with interests ranging from health care to telecommunications to real estate to energy. They are heavily invested in fossil fuels development including coal, tar sands, and petroleum refineries.

    Sithe Global is a major private energy developer that constructs, and operates large-scale power plants both domestically and internationally. Their portfolio of projects totals nearly 7,000 megawatts of power projects, with a total capital investment potential of over $15 billion. Most of Sithe’s projects are coal-fired, natural gas-fired or hydroelectric power plants, but also include waste coal, one wind farm, and a palm oil venture.

    In 2005 Blackstone purchased an 80% ownership in Sithe Global from its previous owner, Reservoir Capital, which retained a 20% ownership.

    It is clear that Blackstone and Sithe Global are out of touch with national energy markets. Worse, they’re out of touch with the communities which will be harmed by these coal plants. These communities want clean energy and a clean future with long-term jobs for their children and grandchildren. What they don’t want are dirty coal plants and coal-waste facilities, and investors don’t want bad investments surrounded by uncertainty.

    Steven Schwarzman Blackstone’s CEO Steven Schwarzman is worth an estimated $2.5 billion and, in addition to his 35-room Park Avenue suite, owns houses in Saint-Tropez, Jamaica, East Hampton, and Palm Beach. His five properties plus renovations are estimated to have cost over $125 million. Schwarzman is said to have the biggest living room in New York City. He made headlines in 2007 when he celebrated his 60th birthday with a $3 million party on Park Avenue that included many celebrities and high-profile financial industry members.


    All my readers can take action against these coal fired plants by clicking here and sending a message to Steve Sachwarzman. I will also include information for my Nevada and Pennsylvania readers regarding the plants in their states.

    I would add that it is best to combine this kind of activism stopping coal-fired plants with support of clean energy with carbon offsets through Native Energy...and cutting back on your own energy usage with compact fluorescent bulbs, more energy efficient appliances, energy audits, etc. We do need energy and we do need jobs that new energy production would provide, but we don't need more polluting coal plants. So I prefer including BOTH opposition to the coal plants AND support for alternative energy production.

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