Call in to stop Cliffside Coal Plant Expansion Thursday Nov. 15


Duke Energy is continuing their efforts to expand its Cliffside coal plant in Rutherford County, North Carolina. The NC Utilities Commission has given them a permit for one 800 megawatt pulverized coal generator. This facility will emit millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air annually, along with adding mercury and other deadly pollutants into the atmosphere.

The new generator will create more global warming pollution while worsening our already poor air quality. The deadline for giving public comments to the NC Department of Air Quality has already passed, but that doesn't mean that NC is locked into a future of dirty energy.

Join us in solidarity, from wherever you are, as we flood the Governor's office and the Duke Energy Headquarters in Charlotte with calls, emails and faxes. Urge Governor Michael Easley and Duke CEO Jim Rogers to stop Duke Energy from expanding Cliffside. Demand investment energy conservation and efficiency programs to offset the power this plant would provide, save us money and create jobs. Insist that Duke fund clean, renewable energy for future expansions.

On November 15th, make your voice heard by calling and telling Governor Easley and Jim Rogers that renewable energy is the future of NC and not "clean coal." Why? Because the future of North Carolina depends on it.

Contact the Governor's Office:
Phone: 1-800-662-7952 valid in North Carolina only; (919)733-4240, or (919)733-5811
Fax: (919)715-3175 or (919)733-2120

Contact Duke Energy Office:
Phone: (704) 594-6200 (Corporate Office)
Jim Rogers Direct Line: (704) 382-1087
Email: (Tom Williams, Policy/Energy Efficiency/Environmental Media Relations)
Fax: 704-382-0199

Cliffside Call-in Day Talking Points/Phone Script

Hi may I please speak to Governor Easley. (probably will say he is busy and ask to take a message)

This is______ and I am am a student at ______ . I am calling today to ask Governor Easley to take all possible action to block Duke Energy's proposed coal-burning facility at Cliffside.


Hi, may I please speak to Jim Rogers? (again, probably someone will take a message). I'm calling to ask Mr. Rogers to reverse the decision to build the new coal-burning plant at the Cliffside facility.

Talking Points (to be expanded and added to)
• Green Jobs : A study by the national Apollo Alliance estimates that North Carolina could gain an additional $6 billion of economic activity and 94,159 new jobs through renewable energy investments. This opportunity far outweighs the paultry estimated 20-30 jobs created by the Cliffside plant. North Carolina needs "green-collar jobs" in the new green economy, not hazardous jobs in a dying industry. The public utilities companies serving our state should begin investing in renewables and energy efficiency now, creating a foundation for economic and job growth far into the future.
• Financial Divestment: Citigroup announced in July 2007 that it was downgrading coal stocks because the coal industry is becoming financially and politically risky. Due to increased awareness of and science on the impact of climate change, as well as imminent carbon regulation in the US and abroad, financial institutions are being pressured to divest in the coal industry. If Citigroup, the world's largest financial institution, will not pay for coal then why should the citizens (and ratepayers) of North Carolina?
• Global warming: The plant, if built, will emit 312 million tons of carbon dioxide, the primary pollutant responsible for global warming, over its fifty year lifespan. That's equal to putting an additional one million cars on the roads for the next 50 years!
• Mercury Pollution: Coal power plants release ethyl-methyl-mercury, and because of this coal power is the largest source of mercury emissions in America. It has been found that approx. 1 in 10 women of child bearing age have unsafe levels of mercury in their blood. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin which significantly raises the possibliity of a woman bearing a mentally disabled child. Duke's own numbers project a 10-fold increase in mercury emissions from the proposed plant over 2005 mercury emissions from the existing units, as well as 13 to 50-fold increases in releases of other toxic metals like arsenic and cadmium.
• Air pollution: Not only will the new Cliffside plant emit more global warming causing carbon dioxide into the air, it will also emit nasty pollutants such as mercury, nitrogen dioxide & sulfur dioxide. In addition to many orange and red ozone days this year, Charlotte even had a purple air quality day this summer, indicating VERY UNHEALTHY air quality. (On purple air quality days, people with respiratory or heart ailments, children, and older adults should avoid outdoor physical activities. Even healthy individuals are encouraged to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors).
• Renewable alternatives: Around the country states are standing up against these dirty power plants. They have realized that meeting the power needs of the future using the technology of the past is a losing proposition. North Carolina can – and should – do better, especially when cleaner alternatives like energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy are available.
• Carbon Regulation: On April 2nd of 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Massachusetts v. EPA, handed down a precedent-setting and groundbreaking ruling that will allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. This ruling is the first, and most fundamental move for the federal government to address necessary emission reductions of global warming pollution from all sources. As a result of the Court's finding that CO2 and other global warming pollutants are "pollutants" for purposes of the Clean Air Act, these substances are pollutants "subject to regulation under the Act." Therefore, the Court's decision triggers the obligation for permitting agencies, including North Carolina's Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Division of Air Quality, to include carbon dioxide emission limits in it's permitting process.
• Other states: In October 2007, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), denied the air quality permit for the two proposed 700-megawatt generators at the Sunflower Electric Power Corporation plant. This is a landmark decision in which the Secretary of KDHE cited the Massachusetts vs. EPA Supreme Court ruling as the main reason for their decision. "Denying the Sunflower air quality permit, combined with creating sound policy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions can facilitate the development of clean and renewable energy to protect the health and environment of Kansans," said Roderick L. Bremby, Sectretary of KDHE. North Carolina's elected leaders and public officials should join Kansas and many other states who have been proactive in reducing harm to our environment and health by denying the construction of new coal plants.
• Mountain Top Removal Mining: The coal that would power Cliffside would come from areas of West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky where Mountain Top Removal mining is ruining Appalachian communities. Mountain top removal mining represents one of the greatest environmental and human rights catastrophes in American history. In the coalfields of Appalachia, individuals, families and entire communities are being driven off their land by flooding, landslides and blasting resulting from mountaintop removal coal mining.

Again, I would like to ask the Governor to take any and all action necessary to block Duke Energy's proposed facility at Cliffside. Duke should not be allowed to build a dirty, old-style plant that will harm this state for the next generation and beyond. We don't need new, dirty power plants to pollute our air and our waters for the next 50 years. And we don't need millions more tons of carbon dioxide worsening global warming. North Carolina has too much to lose.

Thank you.


Again, I would like to ask Mr. Rogers to reverse the decision to expand the Cliffside facility. Unit 6 is a dirty, old-style plant that will harm this state for the next generation and beyond. We don't need new, dirty power plants to pollute our air and our waters for the next 50 years. And we don't need millions more tons of carbon dioxide worsening global warming. North Carolina has too much to lose and we will not stand for Duke to make a mockery of our future.

Thank you.


Done (to the Governor)

I don't bother to communicate with the Carbon Kings at Duke Energy. They're on a mission and public opinion doesn't matter one bit to them . . . unless that opinion brings some economic cost.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


and very pleased that I finally have a number to call when I'm pissed at the state.

Everyone, please FW this far and wide. No way should this thing get built.


The lady who took my call seemed a little frazzled... ;)

Students arrested protesting Duke coal

Posted on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007

Students arrested protesting Duke coal


Two Asheville students upset about Duke Energy Corp.'s plans to build a new coal-fired project in the Blue Ridge foothills chained themselves to the utility's uptown front doors today, resulting in their arrest on trespassing and disorderly conduct charges.
The two also chained the front door closed.

The students arrested were Nina Otter, 21, and Meagan Goodman, 18. They attend Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa near Asheville, said friend Sarah Murphy, a resident hall director at the school and one of the organizers of the lunchtime protest.

Dr. James Hansen of NASA speaks on Cliffside


No more old-style coal plants

Before long we'll need to bulldoze power plants that don't capture CO{-2}
A letter from scientist James Hansen to the N.C. Division of Air Quality regarding Duke Energy's permit to build a new coal-fired unit at Cliffside Power Plant in Rutherford County:

For the sake of identification, I am director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, Adjunct Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, and head one of the major units of the Columbia Earth Institute.

I express my opinions here as a private citizen, based on my four decades of experience in research on the climate of the Earth and other planets. I am a member of the National Academy of Sciences, have advised the vice president and his task force on energy and climate (including six Cabinet members) on two occasions, and have received numerous awards for my research on climate change.

I am writing because scientific evidence and understanding about global climate change have advanced rapidly in just the past several years. Indeed, progress has been sufficiently rapid that there exists a gap between what is understood by the relevant scientific community and what is known by those who most need to know, the public and policy makers. The information is particularly relevant to those who are considering the use of coal for power plants, specifically with regard to the way in which coal will need to be used if we wish to avoid creating a dangerous situation in the near future and especially during the lives of our children and grandchildren.

During the past several years it has become clear that the Earth's climate is nearing important tipping points. Recent global warming has brought the system to a level where only moderate additional climate forcing is needed to cause large climate effects, including loss of all Arctic sea ice, destabilization of ice sheets and thus global sea level rise, and extermination of many species, as well as intensification of regional extremes of the hydrologic cycle, specifically more intense droughts and fires in subtropical areas such the American West, the Mediterranean region including the Middle East, Australia and parts of Africa, and yet, when precipitation occurs, it will tend to occur in heavier downpours, thus increasing the frequency of floods, and storms driven by latent heat will tend to be stronger....

The upshot is that the scientific community realizes that we are much closer to the dangerous level of atmospheric greenhouse gases than would have been estimated even 3-5 years ago. In turn the implication is that humanity must find some way to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide at a level of, at most, 450 parts per million, and perhaps even significantly less. Based on the amounts of carbon in the different fossil fuels, coal being the largest, an inevitable conclusion is that coal use must be phased out over the next few decades except at truly clean coal power plants that capture and store the carbon dioxide.

In blunter language, it has become clear that in order to avoid creating a different planet with disastrous consequences for humanity and other species, over the next few decades we will need to "bulldoze" old-style power plants that do not capture and store CO{-2}.

Although the legal issues are outside my expertise, officials making decisions about power plants should be expected to be aware of the implications of climate change for fossil fuel use. It seems unlikely that the public should be held responsible for investments made in new coal-fired power plants, which are surely imprudent if the power plants do not capture and store the CO{-2}.

Hansen speaks here tonight

James Hansen, with Raleigh "green" architect Mike Nicklas, will speak at Queens University's Dana Auditorium at 7 p.m. today. The event is free and open to the public.