Front Porch Blog

We won’t “Take a Hike” on Duke Energy’s Cliffiside Plant!

Appalachian Voices, along with the Stop Cliffside Coalition, continues to fight the construction of Duke Energy’s coal-fired power plant in Rutherford County, NC. Duke Energy wants customers to pay more dirty energy that emits global warming gases and other air pollution, destroy the Appalachian mountains, and produces toxic coal ash ponds.

To this end, Appalachian Voices has been working on getting citizens to speak out at public hearings about the proposed rate hikes. Due to grassroots pressure, the Commission is now allowing testimony regarding that portion of the hike attributable to Cliffside plant, which is an astonishing 25 to 50%. In Marion last week, over 60 citizens came in opposition of the rates hikes. Scott Gollwitzer, in-house counsel for Appalachian Voices, gave reasons to hold off on the rate hike until a final decision on Cliffiside’s air permits were finalized.

Our message on Cliffside is getting out to the media and key decision-makers. We recently had an Opinion-Editorial in the Asheville Citizen-Times published about why coal, and especially the Cliffside plant is a bad deal for North Carolina, both environmentally and economically. Our sentiments are reaching Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, who in an interview with Washington Independent expressed major concerns about the viability of cleaner coal technology and the future of coal in general. The pressure we have been applying is working, as this incredibly revealing quote from Jim Rogers suggests:

“I’m under incredible pressure on mountaintop mining,” said Rogers. “Most of the coal we use in the southern part of the country is from mountaintop mining. I’m doing the math now and looking to determine my contracts and posing the question to my team, what if we made a policy decision that we’re not going to buy coal as a consequence of mountaintop mining.”

He also suggests that an energy future without coal could be reached by 2050.

Then why build more dirty coal-fired plants, Mr. Rogers? If you want to learn more about our efforts to stop Cliffside, including actions you can take, sign up here.





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