You’ve probably heard the news by now that the NC Utilities Commission yesterday approved only ONE 800-megawatt unit for Cliffside. Thanks to all of you for attending the hearing, providing public and written comments, getting friends and family to submit comments, writing letters to the editor, talking to people about the importance of moving away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy and energy efficiency, and all the other ways you contributed to making sure the Utilities Commission heard the public’s concerns. I am convinced that without the large turnout at the hearing in Charlotte and the many comments sent in, that the Commission would have no doubt approved both proposed units. So thank you for your part in this critical campaign to fight global warming pollution here in North Carolina!
There are several silver linings in this decision:
1) Duke stated under testimony that it would be cost-prohibitive to build just one unit. In the paper this morning Duke Carolinas President Ellen Ruff, stated that “We have to look at where we are.” She said they could choose to build more natural gas plants. So we will keep you posted on the latest developments.
2) Duke still needs to get an air quality permit from the state Division of Air Quality. In terms of concerns over air quality and global warming, we have better legal standing with the DAQ than with the UC on these issues. There may be a public hearing on this.
3) We now have the Charlotte Observer, the Raleigh News and Observer and the Winston-Salem and Durham papers on record as opposing Cliffside.
4) We also have the attention of the state legislature which is considering legislation that NC adopt a RENEWABLE ENERGY PORTFOLIO STANDARD that would require utilities to have a certain percentage of their energy portfolio met through energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
ACTION:We need folks to thank Rep. Becky Carney, Rep. Martha Alexander and Rep. Drew Saunders for co-sponsoring House Bill 77 which would ensure that at least 20% of North Carolina ’s energy demand is met through efficiency measures and clean, renewable sources by the year 2020. Contact your specific legislator in the house and ask them to support this bill.
FOR YOUR READING: You should know that Susan Tompkins of Charlotte is a member of the N.C. Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change. She is a wonderful advocate on our behalf. I’ve attached a Summary of Proceedings from their meeting on February 22. Please read over these and get familiar with the types of policy changes we need to support to reduce our carbon emissions in North Carolina and thank Susan when you see her!
CALENDAR ITEM:Mark your calendars for Thursday, March 22 to attend a presentation on climate change at DavidsonCollege by Dr. Tim Flannery, Scientist and author of The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change, 7:00 p .m,Duke Auditorium,http://www.theweathermakers.com
Thanks again for using your voice to help the Carolinas Clean Air Coalition restore clean and safe air to the Charlotte region!
Executive Director CarolinasClean Air Coalition 402 W. Trade Street, Suite 104 Charlotte, NC28202 (704) 342-9161 www.clean-air-coalition.org
Keywords: coal plant coal plants coal-fired power plants activism activists clean air coalition cliffside victory North Carolina Utilities Commission Duke Energy global warming public hearing Duke Power activist success air quality asthma air pollution mercury Tim Flannery weather makers