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VIDEO: Greenpeace Proudly Participates in Moral Monday Labor Day

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September 5, 2014

Robert Zembowicz

Greenpeace has been a longtime supporter of the Moral Monday movement. Most recently, we co-sponsored Moral Monday Labor Day in Charlotte. We recognize that environmental issues are social justice issues. We were proud to stand with over 500 people to celebrate labor and call for necessary changes in our community.

I had the opportunity to speak before the crowd. Here is what I said:

On February 2nd, weexperienced one of the worst environmental disasters in our state’s history when Duke Energy dumped 39,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River, devastating entire communities and ways of life.

Here we are 7 months later, and Duke says they are done cleaning the river after only having removed 7% of the coal ash.

Our community is at risk. 80% of our water supply sits directly beside multiple toxic coal ash dumps.

Unfortunately the NC Legislature has sided once again with the utility monopoly and not with the people of North Carolina. The NC Legislature recently passed a bill allowing Duke to leave most of their toxic coal ash dumps in place, risking the health and economic well-being of communities across the state.

A recent poll shows that 93% of NC voters believe Duke Energy should pay for coal ash cleanup. And yet this bill allows Duke to raise our bills as early as January, forcing ratepayers to pay for their mess. This, from a company that has raised our electrical bills 3 times in the last 4 years. This, from the company that recently reported an 80% jump in profits over last quarter.

This bill continues to highlight the cozy relationship between Duke, and our so-called representatives, whether elected or appointed.

But we know that there is only one way we can solve the coal ash problem, and that is to not create coal ash in the first place. We can do this by moving away from dirty energy like coal and moving toward clean, renewable energy like solar.

Solar energy is more affordable than ever before and is rapidly growing in North Carolina. Solar is key to the new green economy. It is an investment in our future.

As solar grows, so does the demand for green jobs, skilled jobs that pay a fair wage, jobs that can support a family, a community, jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Greenpeace is proud to have worked with many community partners, including the NAACP to successfully bring solar to homeowners in our community, through Solarize Charlotte.

We are excited to begin working to bring solar energy to our schools, creating jobs and cleaning the air for our children in the process.

I would also like to invite you to join us for what will be the largest climate march in history.

On September 21st, over 100,000 people will gather in New York City for the Peoples Climate March.

This is an invitation to change everything.

With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we will take a stand to bend the course of history. We will take to the streets to demand the world we need: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.

To change everything, we need everyone on board.

Please sign-up at our table if you are interested in getting involved with solar schools and the the Peoples Climate March.

Greenpeace is proud to stand with all of you today!

Forward together, not one step back!

RSVP for the People’s Climate March

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