A decade ago, the coal industry was sitting pretty; lax environmental regulation, lackluster enforcement of worker safety rules, and generous government subsidies allowed companies to mine coal on the cheap. Then came the backlash: In the past ten years, coal moratorium activists have stopped 150 coal-fired power plants from being built. Just last week, Purdue University in Indiana scrapped plans to build a coal-powered boiler for one of its campuses.

The amazingly successful grassroots movement against coal is led by groups like the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, the Alliance for Appalachia and dozens of local and regional grassroots organizations directly impacted by the horrors of coal mining.

Not a single new coal-fired plant has been built in the past two years. And the industry has announced plans to phase out 50 old plants, bringing to 200 the number of coal plants killed by grassroots pressure.

Congratulations, beyond-coal campaigners. We look forward to seeing how many more of the nation’s 600 coal plants you can shutter. And, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’d like to take a moment to say, “We love you!’

Posted by Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy co-founded Sungevity and now serves as strategic advisor. He is an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. He is the author of Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy - and Planet - from Dirty Energy (2012), a book that has been described as the clean energy manifesto for the next greatest generation.