Natural Resources Defense Council
|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).” 
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).
- John H. Adams, Founding Director and former President
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.”
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. In March 2007, TXU announced its official withdrawal of the air permit applications for the eight cancelled plants.
The following proposed Texas coal plants were cancelled in TXU deal:
The following plants were allowed to proceed:
- Frances Beinecke, Executive Director; Co-founder, The New York League of Conservation Voters
- Robert Redford, Trustee and Director; Film actor & director; Manager, the Redford Foundation
- Laurance Rockefeller, Trustee; Private philanthropist; Former chairman, Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Former chairman, Citizens Advisory Committee on Environmental Quality; Trustee, the Laurance Rockefeller Charitable Trust
- John H. Adams, President & Co-founder; Former Assistant US Attorney (New York)
- Adam Albright, Vice Chair; Board member, Redefining Progress; Board Chair, Population Communications International; Program Chair, Conservation International
- Richard E. Ayres, Co-founder & Treasurer; Partner, Howrey & Simon; Former chairman, National Clean Air Coalition
- Linda Geer, Health & Environment Program Director; Former staff scientist, Environmental Defense; Former technical director, Hazardous Waste Treatment Council
- Alan Horn,Vice Chair; Chairman & Chief Operating Officer, Warner Brothers
- Burks Lapham, Vice Chair; Chairman, Concern Inc.; Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
- Alan Metrick, Director of Communications; Former Partner, The PR Consulting Group (New York City); Former Exec VP, David M. Grant Inc.
- Kathleen Scheg, Legislative Director
- Frederick A. O. Schwartz, Jr., Chairman of the Board; Partner, Cravath Swaine & Moore; Former NYC corporation counsel (under Mayor Ed Koch)
- Gregory Wetstone, Legislative Director; Former environmental chief counsel, US Congressional Health and Environment Subcommittee; Author, “Acid Rain in Europe and North America”
- George Woodwell; Vice Chair; Founding Director, Woods Hole Research Center
- Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr.; Chair – Senior Counsel, Cravath, Swaine & Moore
- Adrian W. DeWind; Chair Emeritus – Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
- Adam Albright; Vice Chair – Private investor; Environmentalist
- Patricia Bauman; Vice Chair – Co-Director, Bauman Foundation
- Robert J. Fisher; Vice Chair – Board member, Sun Microsystems; Chair, GAP Inc.
- Alan Horn; Vice Chair – President and COO, Warner Brothers
- Daniel R. Tishman; Vice Chair – Chair and CEO, Tishman Construction Corp. of New York
- Henry R. Breck; Treasurer – Chair, Ark Asset Management Co., Inc.
- John H. Adams; Founding Director – Chair, Open Space Institute
- Richard E. Ayres, Esq. – The Ayres Law Group
- Joy Covey – President, Beagle Foundation
- Laurie P. David – Producer; Activist
- Leonardo DiCaprio – Actor; Environmentalist
- John E. Echohawk – Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund
- Bob Epstein – Co-Founder, Sybase, Inc., Colorado Microdisplay, and Britton-Lee
- Michael C. Finnegan – Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Securities
- Michel Gelobter, Ph.D. – Executive Director, Redefining Progress
- Jill Tate Higgins – Private investor; General Partner, Lakeside Enterprises, L.P.
- Charles E. Koob, Esq. – Partner, Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett
- Philip B. Korsant – Member, Ziff Brothers Investments
- Ruben Kraiem – Partner, Covington and Burling
- Nicole Lederer – Co-Founder, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)
- Maya Lin – Artist; Designer
- Shelly B. Malkin – Landscape painter; Conservationist
- Josephine A. Merck – Artist
- Peter A. Morton – Chair/founder, Hard Rock Hotel, Inc.
- Daniel Pauly – Director, Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia
- Frederica Perera, Ph.D. – Professor, Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University
- Robert Redford – Actor; Director; Conservationist
- Cruz Reynoso – Professor of Law, University of California at Davis
- Laurance Rockefeller – Conservationist
- Jonathan F.P. Rose – President, Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, Affordable Housing Development Corporation
- Thomas W. Roush, M.D. – Physician
- Christine H. Russell, Ph.D. – Environmentalist; Foundation director
- Wendy Kirby Schmidt – Designer, Allied Member of ASID
- James Gustave Speth – Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
- James Taylor – Singer; Songwriter
- Frederick A. Terry, Jr. – Senior Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell
- Elizabeth R. Wiatt – Environmentalist; Co-founder, NRDC Action Forum
- George M. Woodwell, Ph.D. – Director, Woods Hole Research Center
- Dean E. Abrahamson, M.D., Ph.D. – Professor Emeritus, Energy & Environmental Policy, University of Minnesota
- Boris Bittker – Sterling Professor of Law Emeritus, Yale University
- Robert O. Blake – Senior Fellow, World Resources Institute; U.S. Ambassador (retired)
- Joan K. Davidson – Former Parks Commissioner, NY State; President Emeritus, The J.M. Kaplan Fund
- Sylvia Earle, Ph.D. – President, Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc.
- James B. Frankel – Attorney; Conservationist
- Francis W. Hatch – Chair, John Merck Fund
- Hamilton F. Kean – Attorney; Conservationist
- Burks B. Lapham – Chair, Concern, Inc.
- Jonathan Z. Larsen – Journalist
- Michael A. McIntosh, Sr. – President, The McIntosh Foundation
- Franklin E. Parker – Advisor, The NJ Field Office of the Trust for Public Land (retired)
- Nathaniel P. Reed – Businessman; Conservationist
- John R. Robinson – Attorney
- John Sheehan – United Steelworkers of America (retired)
- David Sive – Partner, Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C. (retired)
- Thomas B. Stoel – Stoel Rives (retired)
- Thomas A. Troyer – Partner, Caplin & Drysdale
- Kirby Walker – Independent film/video producer
Natural Resources Defense Council
40 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
- ? NRDC website
- ? Tim Knauss, “DeWitt eyed for huge energy plant,” December 17, 2006.
- ? Ted Nace, Stopping Coal in Its Tracks, Orion Magazine, January/February 2008.
- ? A Buyout Deal That Has Many Shades of Green, New York Times, February 26, 2007.
- ? “TXU Halts Efforts To Obtain Permits for Eight Coal-Fueled Units”, press release, March 1, 2007.
- ? NRDC website
Other Related SourceWatch Resources
- Citizen groups working on coal issues
- Conservatives target the Natural Resources Defense Council
- Environment 2004
- environmental protection
- NRDC and Alar
- Protected Harvest
- John E. Bryson
- Jacob Scherr is a Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council
- Laurie David is a producer with Participant Productions an affiliate of the Alliance for Climate Protection
- Theo Spencer – senior project manager
- John Borowski, “Laurie David and Me: Curb Your Environmentalism“, Counterpunch, December 29, 2006.