Greenpeace launches one-month Coal Free Future ship tour on Eastern seaboard

“One person dies every 40 minutes because of coal pollution in the U.S.”

Media release - January 21, 2011
Wilmington, NC – Greenpeace today launched a one-month ship tour to support East Coast communities fighting to protect against the impact of coal plants in their region. The Arctic Sunrise, a 50 meter ship, departs Monday, January 24th from Wilmington, North Carolina on an East Coast voyage with stops including Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; and Boston MA. The tour will bring together communities to share strategies, information and solutions; join local campaigns against coal plants; and support local groups. A variety of activities is planned at each stop, including free open boat tours, non-violent protest trainings, community meetings, marches and candlelight vigils.




“Americans are tired of the coal industry using their money and influence to undermine good energy policy, and to stop the progress of clean energy,” said Kelly Mitchell, Greenpeace’s coal campaigner on board the Arctic Sunrise. “This tour will show the industry that the greatest power in America comes from families and communities who have chosen clean energy over dirty coal.   Our safety and health and the future of our planet depend on shutting down these plants, and quitting coal for good.”

America's oldest and dirtiest coal-burning power plants are destroying communities, poisoning our air and water, making our families sick and driving global warming.  According to the Clean Air Task Force, pollution from coal-fired power plants is responsible for 13,200 deaths a year; one person dies every 40 minutes because of coal pollution.  It is additionally responsible for 20,000 heart attacks, 217,600 asthma attacks, and 1,627,800 lost workdays a year. And coal-fired power plants are responsible for about a third of the US’s global warming pollution.

“We’re going to gather testimonials from all over America that tell the story of how coal is compromising our children’s health, increasing asthma rates, and poisoning our air and water,” said Robert Gardner, Greenpeace Climate and Energy campaigner.

The Coal Free Future ship tour is just the beginning—all around the country, people are organizing, protesting and speaking out against coal, and now Greenpeace is prepared to join that movement, and take on the coal industry in the greatest struggle of our time.

THE ARCTIC SUNRISE:
The Arctic Sunrise is a 50-meter long icebreaker purchased by Greenpeace in 1995. Since then, it has peacefully protested whaling in the Southern Ocean and documented the impacts of climate change at the poles. In 2009 the ship hosted scientists studying Petermann Glacier in northwest Greenland, which calved an ice island four times the size of Manhattan in August 2010.  In the Fall of 2010, the Arctic Sunrise hosted independent scientists on a three-month research expedition in the Gulf of Mexico, finding, studying and documenting the oil on the surface, in the water column, and on the ocean floor.

ON THE WEB:
Supporters can follow the Arctic Sunrise throughout the Coal Free Future tour online at: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/coalfreetour

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Notes:
To arrange an interview with Coal Campaigner Kelly Mitchell or the crew of the Arctic Sunrise, contact Molly Dorozenski, 917-864-3724,

For photo and video requests, contact Tim Aubry, 202-319-2429,