Press Room

Big Wins for Clean Energy in Arkansas, South Carolina and Washington

There’s an appetite for climate action — but who expected bird-lovers to lead?

New York – May 9, 2019 – “No matter whether you are a state leading the charge for clean energy like Washington or just getting started like Arkansas or in the middle of your journey like South Carolina—it’s a powerful lesson that the economics of clean energy are winning and that the public wants solutions. Just as important, the public gets what’s happening with extreme weather events and expects more than zombie-like climate arguments. Arkansas, South Carolina and Washington have become models for Audubon’s work in other state and national action and who knew that Audubon’s bird-lovers would be such a potent political force for change? Not a lot of pundits saw that coming,” said David Yarnold, President and CEO of National Audubon Society (@david_yarnold). “We know first-hand that in states all across the country there is a hunger for climate solutions that are based on common ground rather than ideology. And Audubon’s members know all of these states are vital birdlands.”

Today, the South Carolina General Assembly passed the Energy Freedom Act of 2019, which expands access to solar energy across the state. This comes on the heels of two other key clean energy victories in Arkansas and Washington this legislative session. Arkansas passed a solar expansion bill that will allow home owners and businesses to generate solar electricity. Washington State passed a bill that will phase out coal from its electricity grid by 2025, accelerating the closure of coal plants in Montana and Wyoming that are among the largest sources of climate pollution in the American West. Audubon worked in all three states to help deliver the clean energy victories.  

“Our changing climate is the number one threat to birds and people. With 23 state offices, 41 nature centers, more than 450 chapters and 1.4 million members spanning the entire political spectrum, Audubon is local everywhere and we are committed to engaging our members to drive conservation and clean energy solutions,” said Yarnold.  

In 2014, Audubon released its Birds and Climate Change Report, which showed more than half of the bird species in North America at risk of disappearing by 2080 due to shifting and shrinking ranges caused by climate change.

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at and @audubonsociety.

Media Contact: Anne Singer, 202-271-4679,

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