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Greenpeace at the DNC

by Robert Gardner

September 2, 2012

Activists tell Duke Energy to "Dump ALEC"

Today was a long, hot and very humid day in Charlotte. However, with the help of the sun, we powered the rally stage at the March on Wall Street South with our solar vehicle the Rolling Sunlight.

On this hot day, the solar panels worked brilliantly. What a pleasure to help the message cut through the days humidity. All people should be able to chose how power is made in this country (in the broadest and the narrowest sense). We should have a democratic electricity grid, for a democratic peopleeven at a Democratic Convention that has resembled more of a series of security check points than a staging ground for the peoples voice.

Along with a crew of Greenpeacers and volunteers, we setup right next to the Undocubus and ran a line of power on into the stage area. This reminded me a lot of being up at Occupy New York when we helped to power Zuccotti for a few days.

Its a pretty good feeling being out here with people from across the nation demanding a just, sustainable vision for America.

That said, weve got a lot of work to do down here. With Duke Energy taking credit for just about everything that is going on down here (wonder what they are saying about the massive crackdown on free speech) we need to let them know that were not buying what they are selling.

Lets state the facts:

  • 97 percent of all their electricity comes from fossil fuels and nuclear. By 2015, they will be the most coal heavy company in the nation.
  • They are the largest utility company in the country and are raising rates in Ohio, Indiana, and the Carolinas year after year to pay for dirty energy.
  • They have two new coal-fired power plants coming online one in North Carolina and one in Indiana. That in addition to plans to bring online new nuclear plants despite already stressed waterways here in Carolina and Florida.
  • They are primary players in regressive groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC).

Thats not leadership. Thats the same business as usual scenario that guarantees we will be locked into climate change for generations to come.

We want Duke Energy to lead a renewable renaissance throughout the nation. They can and should be putting their resources into real renewable energy leadership other utilities will follow if Duke scales up. They can lead the charge. But they have to lead.

Until then, well stay in the sun; we will stay engaged in humanitys struggle for a habitable planet and sustainable future for all people.

Please stay tuned, there is much more to come from this week at the DNC.

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