As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Grassroots Success On Coal Plants

The Capitol has a power plant that heats and cools all federal buildings in Washington. And it is a carbon-spewing, dirty-energy, coal-fired power plant. On Monday, there will be a mass civil disobedience action in Washington, with over 2,500 protesters descending on the Capitol Power Plant for a nonviolent sit-in. Prior to that, the top two Congressional leaders called for a 100% shift to natural gas at the power plant by the end of the year.

Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid released a letter asking the Capitol Architect to switch the Capitol Power Plant from coal to 100 percent natural gas by the end of 2009. Pelosi and Reid’s call comes just three days before more than 2,500 people from across the country are coming to converge at the power plant for the biggest civil disobedience on climate issues in U.S. history. Prior to the announcement of the Capitol Climate Action, pro-coal legislators had been able to prevent the switch from coal to natural gas.

“Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid’s dramatic action shows that Congress can act quickly on global warming when the public demands it,” said Greenpeace Deputy Campaigns Director Carroll Muffett. “This move demonstrates that they recognize the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for a switch to cleaner energy sources.”

In other words, Congressional leaders were pushed by a grassroots action to call for sweeping change.

Coal makes people sick and this country can't afford more coal burned into the atmosphere, from an environmental and a public health standpoint. Oscar-winning directors Joel and Ethan Coen have released a new satirical video aimed at the coal industry's deceptions on "clean coal."

Pass it around and maybe before long, your local or federal representatives will start calling on switching power plants near you away from coal. Industry and their PR spinners will never stop trying to keep the old, dirty energy structures in place. We can't stop either.

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