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Mountaintop Removal Protest Targets Duke Energy

By Chris Charlson · April 15th, 2009 · News

Concerned locals are taking a stand against mountaintop removal at an upcoming protest march called Walk Past Coal for a Sustainable Future. Sponsored by Footprints for Peace, the walk will protest Duke Energy’s expansion of its coalburning Cliffside Power Plant in the Carolinas. The action corresponds with a simultaneous protest at Duke’s Charlotte headquarters.

The five-mile walk will begin on the campus of Xavier University, pass by the Duke Energy offices downtown and end at Fountain Square. A 15-minute video from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth of Mountaintop Removal will be featured at the end of the march, along with several speakers in opposition to the plant expansion.

Event co-organizer Kathleen Smythe says coal accounts for 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and about 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, she says the process of mountaintop coal removal not only decimates biodiversity but also creates unstable hillsides and polluted waterways. Because the practice costs less than other types of coal mining, rural ecosystems and regional drinking water are sacrificed by power companies.

“It is important for people to join us because Duke mustKathleen Smythe promotes environmentally sustainable energy. hear loudly and clearly that its customers know the source of their electricity and hold them accountable for turning toward more environmentally sustainable energy practices,” Smythe says.

The walk takes place 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 20 beginning at Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel and ending at Fountain Square. For more information, contact Kathleen Smythe at Smythe@xavier.edu or Jim Toren at jim@footprintsforpeace.net.



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