Rising Tide Helps Defeat North Carolina Oil Power Plant
April 3, Asheville, NC
Asheville Rising Tide (ART) is celebrating a victory today in the defeat of Progress Energy’s 130mw oil fired power plant proposed for Woodfin, NC. After a 6 hour public hearing on April 2, the Woodfin Board of Adjustment unanimously voted against the power plant, dealing a major blow to Progress Energy.
Numerous local groups, including ART, started mobilizing against the plant after it was announced in late 2006. The campaign included call-ins, petitioning, community teach-ins, and direct action. After the Buncombe county commissioners approved the plant in, despite massive community opposition, Asheville Rising Tide decided to escalate the campaign by occupying a 50 ft high billboard off of I-26 with a banner reading “Burning Oil Ain’t Progress. No New Plant in Woodfin.” The action resulted in two arrests and played a large role in getting the word out about the plant and mobilize opposition too it. Much credit in this victory goes to Mountain Voices Alliance, and the Canary Coalition, among other groups and individuals who put countless hours into fighting this plant.
While the cancelling of the power plant in Woodfin is a major victory that would not have happened without a strong grassroots campaign, ART is not backing down yet. Progress Energy can still appeal the ruling in court, and if that fails they may very well target another, probably less organized community, to build their plant. ART will continue to keep the heat on Progress Energy until the proposal is completely off the drawing board.
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