South Carolina Youth Question King Coal

October 25, 2008 at 9:48 pm 1 comment

look at all those people!!

look at all those people: we extend to the green hard hats on the other end!!

Three students from Coastal Carolina University sat in the bleachers Thursday night overwhelmed by the 80 some Santee Cooper employees staring at them from across the gym, by the others paid by or associated with the utility who were out “on their own time” to show their support for a proposed coal plant in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.

These hearings before the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control aren’t usually well attended by anyone below the age of 30 and it seemed that the future of South Carolina would let another hearing about DHEC’s draft Maximum Achievable Control Technology permit for Santee Cooper pass unchallenged.  But a couple minutes past 6pm, after the hearing had officially begun, another fifty young people from across the state filed into the gym in green hard hats with “No Coal” stickers on them and filled the bleachers next to the sea of green t-shirt clad Santee Cooper employees.  Those being paid to be there shot dirty looks at those of us who were in Pamplico on Thursday because we knew we must be, because we knew Santee Cooper would be manipulating the crowd and trying to drown out the voice of the real citizens making public comment.

But they couldn’t stop us.  The hearing lasted five long hours, until 11pm, and in the last set of five speakers, three were young people.  As the night wore on, more and more people left, more and more people weren’t there to make their comments, but South Carolina youth with anywhere from a two to three hours drive ahead of them remained and waited for their turn to stand up and speak out against a new 600 MW coal plant that would emit 93 lbs of mercury into the environment a year, that would emit even more CO2 and perpetuate a legacy of dirty energy.  As one of the last speakers Thursday night, a grad student from the College of Charleston asked everyone 25 and under to stand up (almost half the room remaining stood), she then asked anyone in that age group who supported the coal plant to please sit down.  No one sat down.

The future of South Carolina has spoken, articulately and overwhelmingly: we will not allow Santee Cooper to build another dirty and archaic energy facility in our state!  It’s time for change and it is obvious that it is up to our generation to fight for the future we all deserve and know we can create together.


Entry filed under: 1, coal, fun, southern energy network. Tags: , .

Arjun Makhijani “Regress Energy” Greenwashing Action at UCF

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Liz  |  November 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    this is one of the largest youth turnouts at a hearing in the region! go SC!


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