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The Environment Program in 2012

Since 1965, the Reid Gardner coal- fired power plant has dumped its combustion waste next to the Moapa Band of Paiutes Reservation in Nevada, becoming the state’s largest polluter in the process. Tribal members believe that the toxic coal ash contributes to increased rates of asthma, cancer, heart disease, and mortality.

For many years, the Sierra Club, a Hewlett Foundation grantee, collaborated with the Moapa Band of Paiutes and other groups to retire the plant. In 2013, the coalition’s hard work and persistence paid off, when Nevada’s governor and state legislature approved a plan to close the plant by 2017 and the Moapa Band of Paiutes plans to replace the coal-fired plant with the largest tribal solar plant in the nation.

This has had a ripple effect: As a result of the advocacy efforts of the Sierra Club, the Los Angeles Business Council Institute, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, and other Hewlett Foundation grantees in California, the City of Los Angeles has committed to end its reliance on coal and has agreed to purchase 250 megawatts of solar power from the Moapa solar facility when construction is complete.

Due in part to the hard work of Hewlett Foundation grantees, 61 coal plants announced retirement in 2013, no new plants were built, and carbon emissions in the U.S. are at their lowest level in two decades. Photo: Gary Thompson, Sierra Club



  • Conserving the ecological integrity of the North American West for wildlife and people.
  • Ensuring the global average temperature increases less than 2 degrees Celsius.
  • Ensuring that energy efficiency is increased and that the energy supply is clean in nations with high energy demand.


In 2012, the Environment Program made 126 grants to 95 organizations, totaling over $51.1 million.

Read more about the Environment Program in 2012

View a list of the Environment Program's 2012 grants.


The Environment Program in the News in 2012: