Sierra Club launches anti-coal pressure campaign against DTE

The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Michigan Campaign on Oct. 8 launched a statewide advertising campaign against the DTE Electric subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) over its continued use of coal-fired power.

The “DTE Hurts” campaign says DTE Electric is one of the most coal-dependent utilities in the country. 

“No doubt, DTE’s coal plants threaten our health and sicken our families by dumping dangerous chemicals into Michigan’s waterways,” said Jim Nash, Oakland County Water Commissioner, a featured speaker at the Oct. 8 campaign launch. “This campaign is aptly named. DTE absolutely hurts Michigan families.”

The pressure advertising includes: two Detroit-area billboards along highly visible commuter routes, M-39 and I-275; full-page and other print ads in the Ann Arbor News, the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News and the Oakland Press; and online ads statewide.

The Sierra Club is also pushing a clean energy message at two University of Michigan home games this fall, including this past weekend’s homecoming event against the University of Minnesota and an Oct. 19 game against the University of Indiana. The ads encourage Michigan to “get in the game” of clean energy jobs and not be outpaced by other states.

The Sierra Club also recently filed a Clean Air Act lawsuit against DTE, which the club said gained momentum when a federal magistrate judge recommended the case move forward, rejecting DTE’s efforts to have the case dismissed.

DTE Electric (formerly known as Detroit Edison) has invested heavily in recent years in cleaning up emissions from its coal-fired capacity, including scrubbers installed on its massive Monroe coal plant and controls like dry sorbent injection on some of its older, smaller coal units. It also plans to shut the lone coal unit at the Harbor Beach power plant and Trenton Channel Unit 8 for clean-air reasons, which represents a little over 200 MW of total coal capacity.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.