Greenpeace activists climb coal elevator at Bridgeport Coal Plant

Banner reads: “Shut it down – Quit Coal”

Media release - February 17, 2011
BRIDGEPORT, CT— This morning Greenpeace activists scaled the Bridgeport Harbor Generating Station coal elevator to demand the aging and dirty coal-fired power plant be shut down. A 40 ft x 20 ft banner reading “Shut it Down - Quit Coal,” is hanging from the top of the coal elevator, confronting owners Public Service Enterprise Group for allowing the toxic plant to continue operating.

The Bridgeport Harbor Generating Station is an aging, inefficient plant that endangers the health of Bridgeport residents, including the children attending the six schools located within a one mile radius. Nationwide, smokestack pollution from coal-fired power plants kills more than 13,000 people per year according to the Clean Air Task Force– a rate of one person every forty minutes.   

“Bridgeport residents have lived in the shadow of this coal plant for far too long. Clean energy, efficiency and common sense policies will let the citizens of Fairfield County breathe free as well as create sustainable green jobs for generations to come,” said Greenpeace coal campaigner Robert Gardner.

Coal pollution is responsible for 20,000 heart attacks, 217,600 asthma attacks, and 1,627,800 lost work days in the United States annually. It is also the largest single source of global warming pollution in America.  The Bridgeport plant alone emits over 1.1 million tons of CO2 despite the availability of clean, renewable energy options.  

In addition to contributing to global warming, the plant emits 1274 tons of toxic sulfur dioxide and 950 tons of nitrous oxide. Much of the coal burned at the plant is imported from notorious human rights violating coal operations in Indonesia.

“It’s clear the poorest people in Connecticut are suffering disproportionately in order for PSEG to profit,” Mr Gardner said.
 
“Breathing clean air and living in a safe environment should be a basic human right, not a privilege reserved for those who don’t live near a coal plant. The time has come to take action to expose this injustice, shut down this plant, and demand better for the people of Bridgeport ,” said activist Lauren Thorpe, one of the climbers currently hanging from the structure.
 
The protest comes as the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise undertakes the East Coast leg of the Coal Free Future Tour. The Arctic Sunrise is currently on its final stop of the tour in Boston, MA.

Greenpeace is working alongside communities that see firsthand the damage coal causes to the earth, to their health, and to the health of their children.  

Visit http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/coalfreebridgeport for more information
Follow the action on Twitter at Twitter.com/greenpeaceusa

Contacts:
On site: Keiller MacDuff 202 640 3471, Robert Gardner 540 421 7558
Molly Dorozenski (office) 917 864 3724