Coal is the most dangerous fossil fuel of the moment, resulting in higher greenhouse gas emissions than either oil or natural gas and therefore seriously threatening the health, economic security, and lives of Massachusetts residents.
There are two coal-fired power plants currently operating in Massachusetts, with a total capacity of 1246 MW. According to Governor Patrick’s goal of 2125 new MW from solar photovoltaic and wind energy by 2020, Massachusetts is already on track to replace the energy currently produced from coal by more than 70% without even considering the feasible energy production from hydro, responsible biomass, and tidal power, or the lowered electricity demand from energy efficiency improvements!
Phasing out coal by 2015 is clearly within reach– technologically, politically, and economically.
The state or the companies that operate these coal power plants could easily assist with the cost of retraining the approximately 165 workers currently employed in coal electricity production to work in high-paid jobs in the clean energy sector. Clean energy jobs already account for 1.5% of Massachusetts employment – over 64,000 jobs. Even more importantly, the number of clean energy jobs is a rapidly growing – 10,000 jobs are expected to be added this year, for an employment growth rate of 15.4%, compared to 1.4% for the state economy overall.
Eliminating coal within the United States would seriously reduce our national greenhouse gas emissions. This kind of action would give us the leverage to ensure that major developing countries like India and China also reduce their emissions, as is necessary to prevent irreversible global warming. Massachusetts should act aggressively against coal to lead the nation and the entire world towards a more just and stable future.
Pass Bill H.2625, a simple way to make Massachusetts coal-free by 2015.
Download this report with citations and further details on renewable energy potential in Massachusetts here: 2015 Coal Free packet.
 The Mt. Tom plant in Holyoke has a 146 MW capacity; it employs 30 workers. Brayton Point in Somerset has a 1100 MW capacity from coal (it has another 500MW capacity from oil and natural gas); it employs 192 workers.
 We do not have the exact number of workers who would be affected; the total number of workers at Mt. Tom and Brayton point is 222, but as 31% of Brayton Point’s operations are not coal-based, we estimated that 70% of their workforce would be affected (134 workers), resulting in a total number of 164 workers affected.