The Fight to Stop Cliffside is Not Over!

June 19, 2008 at 12:02 am 1 comment

Lockdown at the Cliffside construction site (prior to the arrival of the bulk of Rutherford County\'s police force, the arrest of eight non-violent protesters and the tazing of two).On March 25, 2008 Duke Energy broke ground and began construction on Cliffside, an 800 MW coal-fired power plant located in Cliffside, NC.

Months prior to this, a team of non-profit grassroots agencies, activists, students, lawyers, grandmothers, and outraged citizens had formed a coalition dedicated to stopping this travesty. We were, and are, committed to stopping Duke Energy’s construction of a coal-fired plant that will release six million tons of CO2 per year and lock us into another fifty years of fossil fuel dependence. This disregard for our precarious climatic state is criminal, and our state and federal legislature is simply not taking the necessary steps to slow imminent climate chaos. Instead, our elected officials are permitting the expansion of the fossil fuel industry and, like NC state representative Tim Moore, spouting nonsense such as:

“Coal may not be the best thing in the world but it’s probably the most efficient that we have.”

How about ACTUAL efficiency and conservation? How about small-scale, localized clean energy? How about addressing the core issues of the problem: the fact that Duke Energy is a utility monopoly, an employer of greenwashing scams, and an enormous detriment to ecological and community health? Maybe we need to come to terms with the fact that cheap energy is over and it’s high time that we drastically reduce our consumption. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe than somewhere to charge my ipod/ microwave/cell phone/ tv/ blowdryer/ electric toothbrush/ lava lamp or whatever other crap that we’ve all been convinced is essential to our survival. In any case, another antiquated coal-fired power plant is the last thing we need.

“I think this is a wonderful thing for this area. It’s a wonderful development for this state and most importantly it’s critical to our customers to be able to have affordable, reliable electricity in the future,” said Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers.

Get real, Jim! I don’t think that mercury in our watersheds, filthy air, and climate change are “wonderful developments”. And as for those THIRTY jobs (yes, thirty jobs, that’s it) that the Cliffside plant would bring, well, you can shove those jobs up your multi-million dollar ass. And, as for our “critical” need for the plant, NC WARN, a grassroots organization involved in the fight to stop Cliffside recently published a report stating that the Cliffside expansion will actually create an energy glut in our state, saying:

“Data from SERC, a southeastern utility consortium, show that planned expansions, if completed, could create excess generation capacity of 63,000 megawatts in the next decade, equivalent to 60 large plants. According to the SERC report, ‘This is significantly more than the generation capability needed for reliability/adequacy in the region.’ The agency also confirms that out-of-region sales are already occurring and likely to increase.”

Jim Rogers and Duke Energy are building this unnecessary plant in North Carolina, putting the cost of it’s construction on North Carolina ratepayers, using massive amounts of water from North Carolina watersheds, polluting North Carolina rivers, exacerbating the already poor air quality in North Carolina, and then selling the energy to other states for extra corporate profits!

So, we’ve been taking matters into our own hands. We’ve asked questions, locked down, faced arrests and police brutality, held rallies, called our representatives, debunked Jim Roger’s greenwashing scams, filed lawsuits on behalf of our air and water, written editorials, handed out fliers, pulled media stunts, submitted consumer complaints, demanded public hearings, sent letters, and we are not through!

Stop Cliffside Rally


Entry filed under: coal, direct action, events, northcarolina.

Extreme Weather & Global Warming Dave Freeman in Knoxville

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