North Carolina ups the ante against coal. 44 arrested protesting Duke Energy’s Cliffside coal plant

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April 20 300 people took to the streets of Charlotte, NC to demand that Duke Energy stop the construction of the 800 mw Cliffside coal plant in Rutherford County, NC. After rousing speeches from coalfield residents and local church leaders the crowd marched to Duke Energy’s headquarters. Shouts of “No new coal!” and “Cancel Cliffside” echoed off the skyscrapers of the nations second largest financial center, as the crowd wound its way through the lunch hour traffic.

The protest was a fine example of solidarity in the movement. Folks from Ohio fighting AMP coal plants, Kentuckians resisting mountaintop removal, West Virginians defending Coal River Valley, Virginians fighting Dominions Wise County Coal Plant were all there. Asheville, Boston, Baltimore, and Bay Area Rising Tide were all representing in the streets of Charlotte and played a part in making this a successful action.

Once the march arrived at Duke Energy headquarters we presented CEO Jim Rogers with a letter for him to sign, declaring that he would cancel the Cliffside plant. Unsurprisingly he did not come down. Not content with just going home, 44 people crossed onto Duke Energy’s property to deliver the letter to Rogers. The police gave one warning and then began to make arrests. As protestors were led to police vans the crowd chanted, “Arrest Jim Rogers” and “You can put our friends in jail. But we will drive the final nail.” Those arrested ranged from young college students  to  80 year old grandmothers.100_2965

This protest is an important and exciting escalation in the fight against Cliffside and for the anti-coal movement as a whole. Lets keep up the good work and continue to extend our solidarity to all communities fighting the fossil fuel industry. We’ll be back in Charlotte on May 7th which is being held at Duke’s headquarters. As one sign at the protest said, “Jim Rogers, we won’t stop until you do!” For updates check out www.stopcliffside.org

Asheville Rising Tide Declares NC Gov. Perdue in Bed with Duke Energy

Wednesday, April 1st039

Asheville, NC – In response to the North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ) ruling that Duke Energy’s Cliffside coal plant is a “minor source of emissions”, 30 protesters gathered at noon today outside Governor Perdue’s Western North Carolina office in downtown Asheville to demand that she revoke the plant’s permit.

In a demonstration organized by Asheville Rising Tide, protesters set up a bed in front of Governor Perdue’s office with people in business suits representing Duke CEO Jim Rogers, DAQ head Keith Overcash, and Governor Perdue under sheets and covered in money. Banners reading, “Governor Purdue in bed with Duke Energy” and “Stop Cliffside” were held in the background. Protestors also roped off the office entrance with Global Warming Crime Scene tape.

While Beverly Perdue publicly opposed Cliffside during her campaign for the Governorship, following the DAQ’s ruling she sent out a press release defending the decision to classify Duke’s new coal plant as a “minor emitter.”  A report released last month by the Civil Society Institute found that Duke Energy contributed nearly $30,000 to Gov. Purdue’s election campaign and $40,000 to Lt. Governor Walter Dalton. Since the report was released there have been calls for corruption inquiries into the relations between Duke Energy and Purdue. “We know who Governor Purdue and the DAQ are taking their marching orders from,” stated Jill Walker of Asheville Rising Tide. “With this ruling it is clear that they are more interested in protecting Duke’s bottom line than the health of North Carolinians.”038

Throughout Duke’s application process, the DAQ, controlled by the Governor’s office, has consistently showed favoritism to the industry they are charged with regulating, at the expense of public health, water conservation, and attempts to curb climate change. “It is absurd that the DAQ could rule that the dirty Cliffside coal plant, which will emit millions of tons of pollutants each year, including greenhouse gases, mercury and other heavy metals, could even be considered a minor source of emissions,” stated local farmer Tobias Wolfe.  “Still, it is not too late for Governor Perdue to do the right thing for the people of North Carolina and call for the cancellation of Cliffside.”

Today’s protest was part of an international day of action called Fossil Fools Day (www.fossilfoolsday.org) that calls for an end to fossil fuel extraction and consumption. Duke Energy is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the US; if completed, the Cliffside plant would emit over 6 million tons of CO2 every year. According to the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change we have only 6 years to begin reducing emissions in order to avoid catastrophic climate change. There has been growing opposition to the Cliffside coal plant both in North Carolina and nationwide. Last year, NASA’s chief climatologist James Hansen, called on Jim Rogers to cancel the plant.

Asheville Rising Tide is a member of the Stop Cliffside Coalition (www.stopcliffside.org), a coalition of faith-based,social and environmental groups organizing a mass rally and civil disobedience at Duke Energy’s headquarters April 20th.

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Pull a prank that packs a punch. Fossil Fools Day April 1st 2009

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Rising Tide North America and its allies are calling for a day of action against the fossil fuel industry on April 1st 2009…FOSSIL FOOLS DAY!

Confronted with droughts, extreme weather, poisoned waterways and food shortages the fools at the head of the fossil fuel empire continue to plunder the earth, with the governments as court jesters at their side.

A powerful vibrant climate justice movement is emerging world-wide. Coal plants are being shut down. Mountaintop removal is being challenged. Big oil in Canada and other parts of the world are feeling the effects of a new consciousness around global warming. Thousands are in the streets pushing the limits.

But more needs to happen. It’s time we ask ourselves, how serious are we about stopping climate change?

Climate change threatens our very survival, and weather chaos is increasingly upon on us – it is up to us to launch a global uprising against the fossil fuel industry. Continue reading

Rising Tide releases guide to bogus climate change solutions

cover-imageOnly a few years ago, some companies were saying climate change wasn’t a problem. Now, as its impacts become apparent, many of the same corporations are suddenly scrambling to claim leadership on the issue. Desperate to avoid regulation that may hit their profits, they present a dizzying array of “false solutions,” quick fixes that perpetuate inequalities in our society while they can cash in on the crisis. Upon closer examination, many of these technologies and policies are merely dangerous detours on the road to a just, livable planet, distracting us from the root causes of the crisis.

Rising Tide North America is pleased to announce the release of the first short yet comprehensive survey of these bogus climate change solutions.

The 20 page pamphlet — “Hoodwinked in the Hothouse” — covers topics as diverse as Clean Coal, Agrofuels, Geoengineering, Carbon Offsets and over a dozen other non-solutions to the climate crisis, all in concise, colorfully illustrated and information packed essays. Download it now ( PDF)!

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