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About us: The Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition works for clean air and clean energy. We support affordable energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to meet our energy needs. Together we can reduce pollution by using cleaner energy. Cleaner air improves everyone’s health, and is especially important for our children. For several years, SEED Coalition focused extensively on cleaning up mercury pollution, and important issue since many of the nation’s worst polluting coal plants are in Texas. This website includes many articles, reports and factsheets related to mercury pollution.
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SEED Coalition is grateful for support from the Arkansas Community Foundation.
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Sowing The Seeds of Sustainability
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Scientists urge Abbott to accept climate science

January 8, 2019

Emily Northrop, professor of economics and business at Southwestern University, speaks during a news conference Tuesday outside the Governor’s Mansion. About two dozen climate scientists signed a letter addressed to Gov. Greg Abbott discussing climate change and how action is needed to cut global warming pollution.

A group of Texas climate scientists on Tuesday urged Gov. Greg Abbott not to “stick your head in the sand” when it comes to the impact of climate change on the state and urged him to take steps to reduce Texas’ greenhouse gas emissions, which are the highest in the country by a wide margin, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

On the first day of the 2019 legislative session, the group delivered a letter to Abbott’s staff at the Capitol, signed by two dozen university professors in Texas, offering to brief the governor on climate science.

Read more…


The natural disasters of 2018 in figures

January 8, 2019

Losses in 2018 dominated by wildfires and tropical storms


2018 was the fourth-costliest year since 1980 in terms of insured losses. This was due to an accumulation of severe and costly events in the second half of the year.

Wildfire in CA losses

When compared with the record losses of the previous year from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the indications at the start of 2018 were that it would be a more moderate year. However, the second half of the year saw an accumulation of billion-dollar losses from floods, tropical cyclones in the US and Japan, wildfires and earthquakes. The overall economic impact was US$ 160bn, of which US$ 80bn was insured.

A comparison with the last 30 years shows that 2018 was above the inflation-adjusted overall loss average of US$ 140bn. The figure for insured losses – US$ 80bn – was significantly higher than the 30-year average of US$ 41bn. 2018 therefore ranks among the ten costliest disaster years in terms of overall losses, and was the fourth-costliest year since 1980 for the insurance industry.

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Austin Energy Signs Historic-Low Solar PPA Amid 201 Trade Case Uncertainty

“It’s a pretty bold statement to announce this at this particular time.”

DECEMBER 18, 2017

Last week, Intersect Power and Austin Energy, one of the country’s largest publicly owned electric utilities, announced a 150-megawatt solar power purchase agreement at $10 million to $12 million annually for 15 years.

It’s the lowest solar PPA price the U.S. has ever seen.

While the historic-low price makes the agreement newsworthy on its own, the announcement is more notable given the current climate of uncertainty swirling around the industry because of the Section 201 trade case brought by Suniva and SolarWorld. That uncertainty contributed to Q3 being the U.S. solar industry’s smallest quarter in two years in terms of deployments.

Read more…


It’s time to retire old, polluting coal plants. Here are two studies that explain why.

Addressing Pollution from Legacy Coal Power Plants in Texas

Prepared by: Daniel Cohan, Ph.D.

As Energy Future Holdings faces an uncertain financial future, three of its legacy coal-fired power plants from the former TXU feature prominently in the energy and air quality challenges confronting Texas. These 1970’s vintage facilities – Big Brown, Martin Lake, and Monticello – are among the leading emitters of air pollutants and greenhouse gases in Texas. Their emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) – more than 30,200 tons in 2011 – have been shown to contribute to excess levels of ground-level ozone in the Dallas- Fort Worth and Tyler-Longview-Marshall regions. Substantial reductions in NOx emissions will be needed in order for these regions to attain air quality standards for ozone, a pollutant that can cause respiratory illness and premature mortality. Their emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) have been modeled to exceed SO2 standards up to 10 miles downwind of each plant, and contribute to unhealthful particulate matter over far longer distances. Ozone and particulate matter increasingly have been linked to illness and mortality, prompting the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten air pollution standards for these pollutants. Meanwhile, these three power plants ranked nationally among the top five emitters of mercury, a potent neurotoxin linked to IQ impairment and other developmental problems in children.

legacy coal chart

Read the full report…