Due to the amazing work of students and organizers, The North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is revisiting the permitting process for Duke Energy’s proposed Cliffside coal facility.
Last Thursday, students from North Carolina spearheaded a national call-in day to the offices of Governor Mike Easley and Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers to stop Duke Energy from constructing a new 800 mega-watt coal-fired power plant in Cliffside, NC. Their efforts garnered over 500 calls to the governor’s office and similar numbers to the Jim Rogers’ direct line at Duke Energy. On the same day, two other students from North Carolina dressed as polar bears were arrested while blockading the entrance to Duke Energy’s headquarters in Charlotte.
Over the weekend, the momentum continued to build. Dr. James Hansen of NASA spoke to a crowd of over 700, including Jim Rogers, in uptown Charlotte Friday evening and to a jam-packed auditorium in Chapel Hill on Saturday afternoon. “The physics of the problem tells us that we cannot put the carbon from all that coal into the atmosphere,” he said. “It just hasn’t sunk into policy makers.” Hansen also wrote N.C. air-quality officials in opposing the Cliffside expansion earlier this fall. North Carolina Student Climate Coalition Convinces State to Revisit Permit on New Coal Plant!