Greenpeace Airship Flies Over Cincinnati: "Dump Duke Energy, Cleaner is Cheaper"

Media release - February 1, 2012
Cincinnati - February 1, 2012 - Greenpeace today flew an airship with banners reading “Dump Duke Energy” and "Cleaner is Cheaper" over Cincinnati to highlight the opportunity to switch to a cheaper, renewable energy provider. The Cincinnati City Council is currently considering what criteria to use when choosing a new energy provider, now that the city can pool its purchasing power. Greenpeace is urging the city to require 100% renewable energy from any energy providers seeking a contract to supply electricity to Cincinnati.

"We can have lower electric bills and cleaner air by choosing a cheaper, renewable energy provider. It's time to dump Duke Energy and its polluting old coal plants," said Greenpeace Cincinnati Organizer Kate Melges.

Last November, Cincinnati residents overwhelmingly voted to pass a ballot initiative allowing the city to pool its purchasing power and choose a new energy provider. Now the Cincinnati City Council is considering what criteria to use when choosing a new energy provider, such as cost savings and renewable energy. At a City Council hearing last Monday, January 30th, nearly every resident who testified urged the City Council to require any energy provider seeking to provide the city with power to use 100% renewable energy. Residents have another opportunity to share their views with the City Council at the next public hearing on February 6th.

"Duke Energy says it wants to be a responsible, forward-looking company, but it continues to rely on dirty old coal plants. If it wants to be Cincinnati's energy provider, Duke Energy ought to be switching to renewable energy," said Greenpeace coal campaigner Robert Gardner, "Until then, Cincinnati should choose a new energy provider and the cleaner air, good jobs, and lower electric bills it would bring to Ohio."

Duke Energy owns and operates two coal fired power plants on either side of Cincinnati. Pollution from the Miami Fort and Beckjord coal plants is responsible for 200 deaths, 313 heart attacks, over 3,200 asthma attacks, and hundreds of hospital admissions and emergency room visits each year.

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Contact: Kate Melges, Greenpeace Cincinnati organizer, 727-403-9575
Joe Smyth, Greenpeace media, 831-566-5647,

Notes
Photos available at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceusa09/sets/72157629027103915/ 

Greenpeace’s 135-foot long thermal airship, named the “A.E. Bates” in honor of a dedicated volunteer, is the only aircraft of its kind in the United States. More information is available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/ships/the-greenpeace-balloon/

Information about Cincinnati City Council public hearings on January 30th at 6pm and February 6 at 1pm: http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/noncms/council/uploads/bf1.pdf

Data on the health impacts of coal plants in Ohio is from the Clean Air Task Force: http://www.catf.us/coal/problems/power_plants/existing/map.php?state=Ohio