Citizens Take Just Say No To Coal to the Streets

Guest Blog | May 1, 2009 | Climate Change, Coal, Energy Policy
StopCliffside Climate Action On April 20th citizens from across the country descended on Charlotte, North Carolina to deliver a “Call to Conscience” message to Jim Rogers and Duke Energy that construction of the 800 MW new Unit 6 at the Cliffside coal plant is not OK.  In what became the largest anti-coal rally in the history of the Southeast U.S. (and possibly one of the largest in the country), over 300 individuals representing a wide and diverse group marched through the streets of Charlotte turning heads in the conservative business town and delivering powerful chants such as “Stop Cliffside, No More Coal!” This major event was a profound turning point in the challenge to Duke’s efforts to perpetuate global warming and dirty coal in North Carolina. Never so loudly have citizens risen up and taken on Duke Energy and Jim Roger’s greenwashing rhetoric.

After hearing excellent speakers like Gloria Reuben, spokesperson for the Waterkeeper SACE staff at StopCliffside Climate ActionAlliance and, the marchers made their way from Marshall Park to Governor Perdue’s office to deliver a Call to Conscience to her to revoke Cliffside’s air permit, which so erroneously would allow them to operate one of the largest facilities in NC as a “minor source” of air pollution.

Marching on from Perdue’s headquarters, the chanting escalated and cried out to Jim Rogers “It’s Getting Hot in Here! There’s too much carbon in the atmosphere!” Finally, the clean energy/anti-coal activists stopped at Duke Energy’s Headquarters and heard more speeches from energetic and passionate folks like Rev. Nelson Johnson of the NAACP and Bo Webb of Coal River Mountain Watch.

Next, in an artfully orchestrated act of civil disobedience, 44 people proceeded to lock arms on Duke Energy’s sidewalk property right in front of the Headquarters. These bold individuals were promptly escorted away by police who arrested them for trespassing, while the hundreds of supportive marchers stood behind the property line chanting loudly even such bold things as “Arrest Jim Rogers!”

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy was a strong supporter of the planning of this event, and particularly organizing all the amazing speakers that turned out that day.  We are so proud to have been a part of this ground-shaking, head-turning event against dirty coal in North Carolina. We are firm believers that building the Cliffside coal plant is a travesty for North Carolina and proves that Jim Rogers is an extraordinary greenwasher (check out NC ConNet’s new Blog on the topic!) with his clean energy rhetoric that he doesn’t back up with action.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is pleased to also be the sponsors of the website where you can follow all of the coalition efforts to raise awareness and the profile of this critical issue. Live Twitter feeds are embedded in the website and all the media and photos from the Cliffside Climate Action can be found here. Please visit the website to stay involved and let your voice be heard — Tell Jim Rogers and Gov. Bev Perdue that building Cliffside is not acceptable — and join us May 7 at the Duke Energy Shareholders meeting! We have so many alternatives that we can turn to – with demand decreasing and clean energy options increasing (see WRI Report: Local Clean Energy and Yes We Can report), we must Stop Dirty Coal with great urgency!

Guest Blog
My Profile