Speak out today!
Yes, there is a huge dam of public anger about the way Duke Energy, NC DENR, and Governor Pat McCrory are dealing with cleaning up the North Carolina toxic coal ash pits. That’s why YOU should join hundreds of citizens from across the state and other Duke Energy service areas in calling for change. There will be two peaceful gatherings around the Duke Energy shareholder meeting. Email me at BillGupton1@gmail.com for more information or to volunteer.
Here’s how you can be a part of the flood of people calling on Duke Energy to clean up their act.
A number of organizations have been working on activities surrounding the Duke Energy annual shareholder meeting to be held in Charlotte. We would really like your help in getting the word out AND getting folks to come to our two major actions:
Light the path forward: Candlelight vigil to remember the impacts of coal ash
Wednesday, April 30th, the eve of the Duke Energy annual shareholder meeting
7:30 to 8:30 PM
New Duke Energy Headquarters, 550 South Tryon St, Charlotte, NC
Duke Energy Shareholder Meeting Rally and Press Conference
Thursday, May 1st
8:30 AM arrive and set up for 9:00 AM rally and press conference
Former Duke Energy headquarters, 526 South Church St, Charlotte, NC (location of shareholder meeting)
Here’s some ways that you can help:
- Candlelight Vigil
- Contact your personal house of worship clergy and ask them to attend the candlelight vigil. Email me their information so I can keep track of those attending.
- Reach out to the your contacts in the local faith community and ask other clergy to attend the vigil.
- Announce the vigil to your friends and networks via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Plan to attend the vigil!
- Other ideas and suggestions welcomed – contact Emma Greenbaum <email@example.com> or me.
- Shareholder Meeting Rally and Press Conference
- Announce the rally to your friends and networks via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Make signs and banners and plan to attend the rally.
- Proxies – If you have a Duke Energy proxy and would like to assign it so that someone can go inside the meeting, contact Kelly Martin <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
- Other ideas and suggestions welcomed!
If you are planning to bring a carpool of folks to the events, Sierra Club has some funds available to provide assistance. You will need to contact Kelly Martin and complete a form for partial reimbursement.
Spread the word and see you on April 30th and May 1st!
Citizens across North Carolina are taking action to hold Duke accountable for their massive coal ash spill into the Dan River. And now our legislators need to follow through to make sure nothing like this ever happens again in North Carolina.
We have the momentum on our side– but your legislators need to hear from their constituents. That’s where you come in.
With 36 days until the start of the legislative session on May 14, now is the best time to meet with legislators at home in their districts. The message is clear: the North Carolina General Assembly needs to make sure Duke Energy cleans up its waste at the three dozen unlined wet coal ash pits across the state, all of which threaten local water resources.
Join the NC Sierra Club and our allies on a webinar at 6:00 p.m. on April 10 to get the training and the tools to effectively advocate and educate your legislators on coal ash.
With 170 legislators to meet with, it’s time to get started securing support from your legislators for meaningful action when the legislature reconvenes in May! Sign up today to get you and your neighbors started.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
Title: Coal Ash Training
Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT
Please let me know if you have any questions about this training or what you can do make sure all of the coal ash in our state is cleaned up and moved away from our water supplies!
Lead Organizer, NC Sierra Club
If you attend this committee meeting you get a 2-for-one bonus! Come hear about a new Charlotte Solid Waste study AND the City Coal Ash Due Diligence Review . Be sure to speak to your City Council member before or after the meeting and let them know that we need to develop a model, gold standard coal ash storage at the Charlotte Airport.
Don’t Miss “Years of Living Dangerously” – Starting April 13
“YEARS of LIVING DANGEROUSLY is global warming like you’ve never seen it before. Coming to SHOWTIME in April, this multi-part television event tells the biggest story of our time: climate change and the impact it’s having on people right now in the US and all over the world. Over the course of eight episodes, we’ll report on the crippling effects of climate change-related weather events and the ways individuals, communities, companies and governments are struggling to find solutions to the biggest threat our world has ever faced. An all-star cast of correspondents goes into the field—to Texas, Kansas, California, Colorado, New York, Maine, Montana, Washington, the Carolinas, Florida, the Middle East, Africa, the Andes, the North Pole, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the South Pacific—to meet the people and see the places affected by climate change.” (via yearsoflivingdangerously.com)
Celebrities including Matt Damon, Jessica Alba, Don Cheadle, Olivia Munn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, America Ferrera, and more are acting as correspondents to share these climate stories and solutions from around the world.
Watch for Ian Somerhalder (Lost, Vampire Diaries) interviewing Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal director, and Anna Jane Joyner, Western North Carolina Alliance activist. Parts of the episode are set right here in Asheville, NC, including Duke Energy’s Lake Julian coal plant. In 2013, City of Asheville unanimously passed a clean energy resolution. In 2014, community members are asking Duke Energy NC to stop living dangerously and move beyond coal to a clean energy future.
Since millions of gallons of toxic coal ash and contaminated water spilled from an unlined Duke Energy waste pit into the Dan River in February, there’s been a lot of talk, but little action.
This image is of the coal ash spill at Duke Energy’s plant on the Dan River. Photo credit: Wake Forest University Center for Energy, Environment & Sustainability.
Last week, Gov. McCrory sent a letter to Duke Energy asking the company to provide options and costs for removing their toxic coal ash from unlined pits near our waterways. He gave them the deadline of March 15 to respond.
That doesn’t mean the state will take action. But you can help change that.
It is long overdue for Duke Energy to clean up its act. That’s why we are raising $37,000 by March 15th to hold Duke Energy accountable. That’s $1,000 for every coal ash pit in North Carolina.
That’s right. There are 37 of these unlined coal ash pits, most of them near waterways. And with your help, we can pressure them to move these toxic coal ash pits away from our waterways and into high and dry lined landfills.
It’s easy for politicians to call for solutions in a time of emergency. But real leadership is shown when those calls to action turn into enforceable laws with deadlines for clean up.
By acting now, you can mobilize public support across the state to call upon legislators to hold Duke Energy accountable. Your support will rally our 50,000 members and supporters– a presence in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties–who are well positioned to take on this challenge. Please join us today in this cause!
And with more than four decades of experience in advocating for the environment before the North Carolina General Assembly and Executive branch, we are well-prepared to take this on.
For people who live and play on the Dan River, things may never be the same. But you can help make a difference for other communities across the state.
State Director of the NC Sierra Club
P.S. – Every dollar you give stays right here in North Carolina. Please help us reach our fundraising goal of $37,000 to help our work to hold the Governor and legislators accountable and urge them to find cleanup solutions for the 37 toxic coal ash pits that threaten our waterways.
March 25, 2014
Mary Anne Hitt
Director, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign
The controversy continues almost two months after a Duke Energy spill of toxic coal ash into the Dan River. First, the Waterkeeper Alliance discovered Duke Energy dumping some 61 million gallons of coal ash wastewater into yet another waterway – the Cape Fear River. Duke Energy has been cited eight times since the Feb. 2 Dan River spill!
Now, state regulators have withdrawn the sweetheart coal ash violation settlements offered in previous years and instead have asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to step in to further investigate coal ash violations.
- A stunning 90 percent of North Carolina voters want Duke to clean up all coal ash sites in the state, including the Dan River spill, and 88 percent feel coal ash should be stored away from water in specially lined landfills.
- A large majority of North Carolina voters – 75 percent – are aware of the Dan River coal ash spill and there is broad concern about it within the state’s electorate.
There is strong bipartisan support for regulating coal ash as a hazardous substance, to the tune of 83 percent of North Carolina voters, including super majorities of Democrats (91 percent), Independents (85 percent), and Republicans (75 percent).
- North Carolinians, particularly those who have heard the most about the spill, place the blame for it squarely on Duke Energy.
- North Carolinians strongly favor more regulation and enforcement when it comes to coal ash, and overwhelmingly believe that without this another spill will occur.
- 70 percent of voters would support a candidate who favors strong regulations and enforcement to protect the water, air, and health of North Carolinians and to prevent future incidents like the recent coal ash spill, including 55 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents, and 87 percent of Democrats.
These results are strikingly similar to the poll we recently conducted in West Virginia. Taken together, the two polls demonstrate a clear finding that turns conventional wisdom on its head – people in states where the coal industry is still powerful want protections against coal pollution, and they want to support independent leaders who will stand up for clean air and water safeguards.
This story is not going away, in part because residents of the affected states continue to suffer from these spills. In Charleston, residents are still not drinking their water and new test results revealed just today that the coal chemical MCHM is still leaking into the Elk River and showing up in household drinking water.
In North Carolina, officials say it will take at least two years to clean up the Dan River spill, while more coal ash problems are being revealed all the time. In Virginia, which also received some of the Dan River pollution, residents are angry and worried about their health, safety, and economy, and Governor McAuliffe has called on Duke to cover the costs of the cleanup.
The EPA has the tools it needs to prevent another Dan River spill from happening. As Politico reported this week, the EPA is coming under increased scrutiny for failing to finalize long-overdue coal water protections. No more delay – just ask the people of North Carolina. TAKE ACTION: It’s time to protect our water from coal pollution.
Here are some related articles:
Charlotte Business Journal:
Today, March 24th, the Charlotte City Council will meet at 4:00 PM in Room 267 of the Government Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 East Fourth St., Charlotte, NC 28202 to consider the plan for the Riverbend coal ash disposal. Below is information about the meeting as well as some background information.
The City will only be voting on whether to move forward with gathering information and studying this possibility.
Records show Duke, Charlotte came close to airport coal ash plan in 2013
By Ely Portillo
March 18, 2014
But through a public records request Tuesday, the Observer received documents showing that the plan had progressed to the point of having a draft contract ready, a draft statement announcing the project and plans for an Oct. 28 presentation to City Council.
On Friday, the city said in a press release that it was “invited to review” Duke’s proposal last week. But documents show city staff had already honed their message for the public and elected officials last year, as the proposal moved toward fruition.
Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble signed a confidentiality agreement Aug. 9, promising not to disclose the proposal.
“The City of Charlotte is evaluating how each partner takes measures to ensure that coal combustion products are not hazardous and are safe,” the draft statement read. One city staffer circled that phrase and noted, “I’ve said above it is safe, so why (are) we evaluating?”
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/18/3712987/records-show-duke-charlotte-came.html
For the past seven years, Duke has been providing coal ash for landfill to the Asheville Regional Airport for no cost. A similar deal in Charlotte would be right up the alley of an airport that prides itself on the lowest-cost of its size in the nation. That is, Phocas says, if it is safe.
“We still need to take a look at—even if we are fully encapsulating it—what are the risks to the residents, to the water quality, too,” he says.
Details scant on plan to put coal ash at Charlotte Douglas
By Ely Portillo
March 14, 2014
Environmental advocates said Duke’s proposal could be a better solution for the ash than where it sits now, next to the lake that provides drinking water for Charlotte.
But they still see potential problems, such as the airport’s proximity to the Catawba River, streams that drain to Lake Wylie and groundwater sources for residents, and the sheer number of unanswered questions about the plan.
“A lot depends on the execution,” said Rick Gaskins, executive director of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. His group will also present to City Council.
“Is it perfect? Is it what I’d like to see and do in the future? Maybe not, but it is important to get this ash off the drinking water of 830,000 people.”
See also – Read the letter from Duke Energy to Charlotte officials and Duke Energy proposes storing coal ash at Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/03/14/4766263/details-scant-on-plan-to-put-coal.html