700-foot Smokestack Climbed to Highlight Bush's Dirty Energy Plan

Feature story - February 1, 2005
After hanging a banner on the 700-foot smokestack of one of the dirtiest coal plants in the country to protest the Bush administration's energy plan, six peaceful Greenpeace activists were charged with multiple state and federal felonies. Federal and state officials dismissed the most serious charges, but other charges remain.

Greenpeace activist unfurl banner on Coal plant smokestack.

The four women and two men scaled the 700-foot smoke stack at the Hatfield's Ferry power plant, 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, and unfurled a 2,500 square foot banner that read, "The Bush Energy Plan Kills -- Clean Energy Now!"

The climbers were charged with four state misdemeanors, three state felonies and two federal felonies.

"The real threat to Americans is the Bush energy plan, which kills over 23,000 people every year," said Greenpeace Energy Campaigner Casey Harrell.

The Bush administration has systematically weakened clean air laws by allowing power stations to install new equipment without adding pollution controls, and permitting coal-fired power plants to continue to release tons of mercury into the air and waterways. In addition to its negative impacts on health, dirty energy wreaks havoc on the environment, causing global warming, acid rain and smog.

The Hatfield's Ferry Power Station in Masontown, Pennsylvania was under investigation by the Justice Department for violating the Clean Air Act -- an investigation that was dropped by the Bush administration.

Take Action! Support the Smokestack Six.

In the news:

State drops two of three felony charges against Greenpeace activists(Post-Gazette.com)

Burglary, rioting charges dropped against activists (The Herald Standard Online)

Federal authorities dismiss charges against Greenpeace activists (The Herald Standard Online)

U.S. drops charges against Greenpeace smokestack protesters (Post-Gazette.com)

Federal Charges Dropped Against Greenpeace Protesters (WXPI.com)

Greenpeace Members Climb Smokestack In Protest (WXPI.com)

Greenpeace activists climb smokestack (CNN.com)

Find out more from the following reports:

Dirty Air, Dirty Power

Mortality and Health Damage Due to Air Pollution from Power Plants

Clear the Air, June 2004

New Energy for America

The Apollo Jobs Report: Good Jobs and Energy Independence for America

Apollo Alliance, January 2004

Renewables Work

Job Growth from Renewable Energy Development in the Mid-Atlantic

NJPIRG Law and Policy Center, Spring 2004