Saturday, February 21, 2009

Burning Coal Sparks DC Protest Plans

A coal-fired steam-generating plant, the Capitol Power Plant, sits right in the heart of our nation's capitol, unbeknown to most in Washington DC. On March 2, the Capitol Power Plant will become more visible because it will be the site of a mass protest against the continued and seemingly unending practice of polluting our planet by burning coal. The Capitol Power Plant will be exposed as a dark symbol of all that is wrong about burning coal, and all that is wrong with politics as usual in Washington.

On March 2, concerned citizens will demand change on burning coal, calling for a complete transformation in our national energy policies and priorities. In protest of the Federal Government's inaction on these issues, a number of prominent people will gather at the Capitol Power Plant and engage in acts of non-violent civil disobedience, in the tradition of Ghandi and the Civil Rights Movement. Two authors who want to protect and preserve the environment, Bill McKibben from Vermont and Wendell Berry of Kentucky, have made it known that they plan to cross the legal boundary of the power plant and expect to get arrested. Below is a video featuring Bill McKibben in an interview about 'clean coal' and global climate change.

Why is McKibben willing to go to jail in protest of burning coal? To find out, Click Here. Actress Susan Sarandon narrated a video asking others to join the March 2nd protest, called the Capitol Climate Action. NASA climatologist, Dr. James Hansen, is also soliciting participation in the protest to stop global warming pollution in a video presentation at A long list of individuals and organizations endorsing the Capitol Climate Action is shown here. The protest follows PowerShift 2009, a separate event that will draw thousands of students and young people to Washington for the purpose of holding elected officials accountable for rebuilding the economy through bold climate and clean energy policies that help create new jobs.

UPDATE, Feb.26: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority 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. The call comes just three days before more than 2,500 people will converge at the power plant for the biggest civil disobedience on climate issues in U.S. history. The Capitol Climate Action will still go forward on March 2nd. Read more here.
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