Written by Mary Nicol, Student Network Manager, Greenpeace U.S.:

I just got back from a trip to North Carolina.  I met up with some rockstar student activists in Forest City, NC – where the construction site of Facebook’s newest data center is located.  In November 2010, Facebook disclosed its plans to invest $450 million in the 300,000 sq. ft. facility and to power the center using dirty coal power.

North Carolina students bear witness at Facebook's Data Center.

Emma Wicker, one of the activists, grew up 10 minutes away from the construction site. Emma is stoked to have Facebook bring some much needed jobs to the area, she just wants those jobs to drive an energy revolution, not increase demand for dirty coal power. Duke Energy, the local electric utility, relies on coal for over 50% of its generation mix and is currently building another large 800MW coal plant just 10 miles away in Cliffside, North Carolina.

The action didn’t just happen in North Carolina on Friday. Students across the country stood up to demand more from Facebook. In Austin, Texas, students gathered outside Facebook offices in an effort to talk with employees about the campaign. The students were denied access to the building, but they were able to deliver a letter for Mark Zuckerberg to the security guard that works on Facebook’s floor, and get the attention of Facebook staff passing by.

Carson Chavana delivers a letter for Mark Zuckerberg.

As the student activists in Austin said on Friday, “Facebook is in a relationship with coal? Dislike!” Join us in asking Facebook to Unfriend Coal by Earth Day 2011.