Declaring Independence from Corporate Criminals
by Robert Gardner
[caption id="attachment_7889" align="alignleft" width="169" caption="Greenpeace Activists Take Action at Asheville Coal Plant"][/caption] The smoke has now settled on the fireworks, BBQ grills and for most, the Fourth of July festivities are at an end. Though the power is still not on for around 600,000 people throughout the East Coast, and stifling heat continues to rage across the entire US, there are some that are unconvinced about the impact of man-made emissions on our climate. The models of climate disruption are coming true faster than predicted and the impacts are ubiquitous. If we continue to put greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at our current rates, it's only going to get worse. For forty years, we have taken action to stop this future from happening. Well, that just got a little bit harder in Duke Energy territory down in North Carolina. Here in the states, the big news out of the coal world is the Duke and Progress Energy merger that went through this week. They are now the biggest utility company in the country and soon enough, they will be the biggest burner of coal in the nation. They also give a lot of money to politicians. On cue, the North Carolina legislature seems to have certain legislative priorities to deal with. Just this week in North Carolina many people heard about the mistaken fracking vote, but what some of you might not have heard, is that the NC legislature ratified a bill that would make it a felony offense to enter a power plant basically, this is the anti-direct action legislation that would further insulate Duke Energy from public protest. Why are our legislatures spending their time protecting the most onerous of corporate practices instead of making sound policy decisions to prevent the worst effects of catastrophic climate change? Why do our elected officials create legal walls to surround extractive industry? Is it the money that they take? Do corporate voices count more than the millions of citizens that are daily affected by corporate actions? Lets declare independence from these corporate criminals and their elected stooges. Taking action is inspired by moral outrage. It is an act of conscience. Those brave souls that push the boundaries of our legal system do so to create a world free of the murderous influence of a privileged few that dictate the current course of our democracy. Given the legislatures efforts, Id say that its time to redouble our efforts to get Duke Energy off of coal and living up to its rhetoric. Will you join us?