Natural Resources Defense Council

From SourceWatch

Jump to: navigation, search


This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy


A former project of the Tides Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) describes itself “the nation’s most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of more than 1 million members and online activists to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. Worth Magazine has named NRDC one of America’s 100 best charities, and Charity Navigator has given NRDC four stars (out of a possible four).” [1]

As one of the largest environmental groups, NRDC has often been singled out for criticism by industry funded groups such as the Center for Consumer Freedom. (See Conservatives target the Natural Resources Defense Council and *NRDC and Alar for more details).




Support for coal gasification

NRDC has espoused a pragmatic approach to coal that focuses on encouraging coal gasification and carbon capture and storage, a position that has frequently placed the organization at odds with local activists opposing projects such as the Empire Synfuel project in New York. “We can’t eliminate coal,” said Katherine Kennedy, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “So although other technologies are the ones we’re going to favor, we’re looking for solutions on the coal front, too.”[2][3]

TXU Deal

As part of the estimated US$45 billion buyout, Texas utility TXU (now Luminant) settled a series of lawsuits with NRDC and Environmental Defense and agreed to cancel 8 of its planned 11 new Texas coal-fired power plants as well as several new coal-fired plants in Pennsylvania and Virginia, back federal legislation to create a cap-and-trade system regulating CO2 emissions, and double spending on energy efficiency. In return, Environmental Defense and NRDC agreed not to campaign against TXU’s remaining three Texas coal-fired plants.[4] In March 2007, TXU announced its official withdrawal of the air permit applications for the eight cancelled plants.[5]

The following proposed Texas coal plants were cancelled in TXU deal:

The following plants were allowed to proceed:



Honorary Trustees



Natural Resources Defense Council
40 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
Fax 212-727-1773


  1. ? NRDC website
  2. ? Tim Knauss, “DeWitt eyed for huge energy plant,” December 17, 2006.
  3. ? Ted Nace, Stopping Coal in Its Tracks, Orion Magazine, January/February 2008.
  4. ? A Buyout Deal That Has Many Shades of Green, New York Times, February 26, 2007.
  5. ? “TXU Halts Efforts To Obtain Permits for Eight Coal-Fueled Units”, press release, March 1, 2007.
  6. ? NRDC website

Other Related SourceWatch Resources


External links