Posts filed under ‘Georgia YES!’
US EPA is holding a public hearing in Atlanta, GA on May 26, giving us the opportunity to testify in support of a new rule to regulate toxic mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. Sign up here!
A few weeks ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed rule to set national emissions standards for mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants. The environmental community has been waiting for nearly 20 years for this rule. It’s a necessary step toward reducing toxic mercury emissions from coal plants nationwide.
As a part of our strategy to fight the three proposed coal-fired power plants in Georgia, the Southern Energy Network and Georgia Youth for Energy Solutions (GA YES!), are putting the pressure on 2010 political candidates.
Last Thursday, June 24, we showed up at the Georgia Water Coalition’s Gubernatorial Forum on Water and the Environment ready to ask candidates hard-hitting questions about the future of renewable energy and green jobs in Georgia. With 12 existing coal-fired power plants, one of which is the single largest point source of CO2 in the US, and 3 new plants proposed, these water-intensive power plants are of huge concern to our drought-ridden state.
We told candidates Dubose Porter, Carl Camon, and General David Poythress that young voters will not stand for new coal in the state of Georgia and that we’re demanding clean, safe, renewable energy that will bring real green jobs to our state. And we got a pretty good response!
To back up our statements, we spend this past Saturday at a booth talking to folks at AthFest – a 3-day music and arts festival that takes place every summer in downtown Athens, Georgia. We gathered almost 50 new petition signatures from Georgia voters, telling gubernatorial candidates that they’ll be voting for candidates who:
- Oppose the construction of Plant Washington and support clean energy solutions such as wind and solar, NOT coal and nuclear.
- Support statewide energy efficiency programs that will cut our carbon emissions and make Georgia a leader in global warming solutions
- Invest in education to create clean energy tech jobs
E-mail all the gubernatorial candidates and let them know that you’ll also be voting on the issues, and don’t forget to vote in the Georgia primaries on July 20! If you can, copy us on your emails – use firstname.lastname@example.org. Jenna is our Georgia Organizer, working with GA YES to fight the proposed coal plants.
General David Poythress (Info@poythressforgovernor.com)
Randal Mangham (email@example.com)
Dubose Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carl Camon (email@example.com)
Bill Bolton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Roy Barnes (email@example.com)
Thurbert Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nathan Deal (email@example.com)
Karen Handel (info@KarenHandel.com)
Eric Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
John Oxendine (email@example.com)
Ray McBerry (McBerryCampaign@GeorgiaFirst.org)
Ray Boyd (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Al Bartell (http://www.albartell.com/contactme.htm)
John Monds (http://www.votemonds.com/contact.html)
Written by Kelsea Norris, student at the University of Georgia in Athens
by Maura Friedman, UGA Student Organizer
Though Power4Georgians, a coalition of Georgia electric membership corporations, is quick to tout dirty coal, on October 20th, the real source of power was the people.
At Tuesday’s Environmental Protection Division hearing, Georgia citizens had the opportunity to publicly voice comments on the proposed coal-fired power plant to be built in Sandersville, GA. People hailing from all backgrounds and corners of the state came out in full force to represent what they wanted the future of Georgia to look like. Nearly 8 out of every 10 who spoke agreed that the future should include clean air, fresh water, healthy kids, and, subsequently, no coal.
Members of communities across the state came together to remind the EPD that coal’s pollutants and health effects don’t just stay within city limits, they’re felt upwind and downstream as well, while Sandersville residents made it clear their livelihood wasn’t up for discussion either.
Most striking about the content of the hearing was the human component. Many who spoke included stories of their personal connection to the land. Sometimes we forget that polluting streams means a granddaughter can’t play in the water or a family can’t eat the fish their son catches. Polluting the air means residents can’t enjoy their own property or a young person leaves to raise a family somewhere safer. Using 16 million gallons of water a day to run a coal fired power plant means wells go dry, but more than that, it means a specific family loses their water access.
Although the promise of jobs to accompany the construction of the coal plant glimmered like fool’s gold, many had their eye on an even more economical prize. The resounding preference at the hearing was for renewable energy and green jobs, the creation of which provides an average of 6 jobs to every 4 jobs fossil fuel-dependent industry contributes. Moreover, sustainable energy does not ask communities to make the tremendous choice between jobs and health.
On Tuesday, the people spoke and their message, one against the damage coal brings to communities, resonated clearly. Now their fate, as well as that of their land and future generations is in the hands of the EPD as Georgia waits with bated breath.