Earth First! activists target Virginia coal plant
Two weeks after the arrest of eight people protesting Duke Energy's plans to build a new coal-fired power plant in western North Carolina, another group of activists was detained following a similar action in Virginia.
Three people were arrested yesterday morning while blocking the entrance to Dominion Power's headquarters in Richmond. They were part of a larger group of activists with Blue Ridge Earth First! who were protesting the company's plans to build a new coal-fired power plant in southwest Virginia's Wise County.
"Climate change is jeopardizing my future and I'm not going to just sit by and let Dominion lock us into another generation of dirty coal," said Barbie Spitz, a student who participated in the roadblock.
Dominion's Wise County plant would release 5.4 million tons of carbon dioxide annually as well as 49 pounds of mercury and other hazardous pollutants. The plant's demand for coal would also accelerate the rate of mountaintop removal mining, which has already destroyed 25 percent of Wise County's mountains.
Earth First! also recently blockaded the construction site for FPL's planned gas-fired power plant in Palm Beach County, Fla. That February protest, which was organized by Everglades Earth First!, resulted in the arrest of 27 people. FPL's facility would release 12 millions tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year.
(Photo courtesy of Blue Ridge Earth First!; to see more photos from the action, click here.)
Sue is the editorial director of Facing South and the Institute for Southern Studies.