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Citizens Rally for Clean Energy, Against Duke Energy’s Massive New Coal Plant

Posted Apr. 22, 2009 / Posted by: TClements

Carbon-Free Nuclear-FreeOn April 20 in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, about 350 people gathered for a highly visible and inspiring march to the headquarters of Duke Energy to protest the company’s plans for a massive new coal-fired plant called Cliffside.  Friends of the Earth was a cosponsor of the event, along with organizers such as the Carolinas Clean Air Coalition, NC Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, The Canary Coalition and Greenpeace.

The march culminated in the arrest of 44 people who were willing to trespass onto the Duke headquarters property in order to make a statement that “coal kills” and to demand that Duke stop plans for Cliffside. Friends of the Earth supporters carried the rally’s largest banner - a call for clean energy which read “Carbon Free, Nuclear Free.”

Anti-Coal RallyIn spite of growing alarm over the environmental impacts of mining and burning coal, Duke Energy, which serves electricity customers in North and South Carolina, pushed ahead with plans to construct the Cliffside plant, estimated to cost $2.4 billion. The plant would produce 800 megawatts of electricity and spew 6 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.  Much of the coal burned in the plant would be mined via mountain-top removal, a devastating practice that has destroyed large areas of forest and water resources in Appalachia.

Duke’s CEO Jim Rogers constantly speaks out about environmental responsibility, yet his deeds reveal that the company plans to continue on the dirty energy path. In addition to the Cliffside plant, Duke is pursuing two new nuclear reactors. All of these centralized energy-production facilities would be located on the Broad River, which is also under pressure as South Carolina Electric & Gas plans two reactors on the river downstream, making it the country’s most-threatened river from new coal and nuclear facilities.

Friends of the Earth sends a big Earth Day “Thank You!” to those who risked arrest and to all the organizations that are working to stop Duke’s Cliffside climate destruction machine.

For more information about Duke’s Cliffside plant and what you can do to oppose it, go to http://www.stopcliffside.org.

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