Kucinich Opposes Coal-fired Power Plant

kucinichWashington, Oct 28-Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) yesterday sent a letter to the President and CEO of American Municipal Power Ohio (AMP) at AMP’s annual meeting in Cleveland, requesting a delay in the final decision on proceeding with a proposed coal-fired power plant to serve the municipal-owned power companies in Ohio.

In the letter, Kucinich says to AMP CEO Marc Gerken:

As you gather for your annual conference, I strongly urge you to defer any final decision which would commit AMP to moving forward with large-scale coal-fired power generation and place your member municipalities at risk. At a time when the need for legislative action on climate change has never been greater and Congress and the EPA are more poised than ever to take action, the regulatory landscape remains in flux. Now is not the time to put cities, and the people who live there, in greater financial straits. I urge you to not issue a final notice to proceed.

Full text available here.

Appalachian Regional Commission Greeted With Guiding Words

From Athens Rising Tide:

Athens, OH- Local residents dropped a banner with the words: “Dear A.R.C; New Energy, New Jobs, New Opportunities for Appalachia= NO NEW COAL” from the Richland Avenue bridge this morning to guide the Appalachian Regional Commissions’ discussion in the right direction: new energy and new jobs for Appalachia does not include new coal.
“By making ‘new energy, new jobs, new opportunities for Appalachia’ the theme of this years conference, the A.R.C. is recognizing the importance of a sustainable energy economy in our region. And don’t get me wrong, that’s great, but I really hope they’re not sitting in that room thinking of ways to keep enabling the same thing they’ve been doing (blowing up mountains, putting massive sludge dams next to elementary schools, and constructing coal-fired power plants at an alarming rate) and calling it green, and sustainable, and a new opportunity. I want to believe that the A.R.C. is going to be a catalyst for making Appalachia a green-collar economic role model, but that is definitely not going to happen if coal stays in the picture.” Said a spokeswoman for Rising Tide Athens at this mornings’ event.
Continue reading ‘Appalachian Regional Commission Greeted With Guiding Words’

Breaking: Rep. Kucinich Joins Students in Challenging New Coal Plant

In the midst of an annual utility conference today in eastern Cleveland, Representative Dennis Kucinich joined students from across the state and their allies to urge the utility not to build a proposed dirty coal-fired power plant in Southern Ohio. Kucinich said the issue is “important enough to come here this morning to let you know that I’m not just concerned but that I’m lending my voice to support these efforts.” He added, “this is something worth organizing over and fighting for.”
American Municipal Power (AMP) is hosting the 4-day conference, where its power plant committee may decide whether or not to start construction of the plant. The Ohio Student Environmental Coalition (OSEC) brought attention to the gathering by holding a press conference at the Intercontinental Hotel, where AMP’s conference is being held all this week.
Continue reading ‘Breaking: Rep. Kucinich Joins Students in Challenging New Coal Plant’

Miami U of Ohio debuts self-growing sustainability fund

Last fall, after years of meetings and strategizing, Miami University of Ohio was set to become a leader in campus sustainability, and then the economy fell apart. Plans to open a campus Office of Sustainability were scrapped, and a campus-wide hiring freeze was set in place.

Now, Miami is back on track! At a forum this past Thursday, the student body Vice President and others unveiled a bold new plan to offer a $50,000 revolving fund for “cost saving, feasible, environmentally impactful and well-researched” projects. Money saved will then be put back into the pot, increasing the amount available for new projects.

Geography professor and chair of the new sustainability committee David Prytherch said “We really, in a certain sense, are only in the beginning. I think the people who will be at Miami in the next century will face a challenge that the people in the past couldn’t have contemplated.”

The first wave of proposals, open to students, faculty, and staff, are due in November. Whoever writes the winning proposals, this will surely be a landmark program that helps to set the future course of Miami University. Read the full story in the Miami Student.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

26 is not only the atomic number of iron (Fe) and the number of letters in the English and interlingua alphabets, it’s also the number of years I will have been alive on Thursday August 6th. The past several years, I’ve had a hard time coming up with birthday wishes, and an even tougher time asking for it. Not this time!

This year, I want you to work smarter, not harder for my birthday, for the good of us all. I want you to invest in something that will benefit your pocketbook, the earth, and future generations. I want you to do any or all of these things:

Continue reading ‘Work Smarter, Not Harder’

Mountain Justice Update: The Necessity Defense

Update from previous posts 1, 2, and 3.

17 activists in southern West Virginia have committed civil disobedience to stop mountaintop removal, believing that it is bad for people, the economy, and the environment, and must be stopped. As of early this afternoon, all 17 are out of jail (but still need help – donate to the legal defense fund!).

Legally speaking, I agree with them. The Necessity Defense is a little known and rarely used approach to ‘crimes’ one was forced to commit. The required elements for a successful Necessity Defense are:

  1. A defendant was faced with a choice of evils and chose the lesser evil.
  2. A defendant reasonably anticipated a cause-and-effect relationship between his conduct and the harm avoided.
  3. A defendant acted to prevent imminent harm.
  4. There were no legal alternatives to violating the law.

Any legal experts or enthusiasts out there think there might be a case? Coming from Columbus, Ohio, I wonder what OSU President Gordon Gee would think, as he sits on the Board of the corporation responsible for much of this, Massey Energy.

Update from WV: Let’s keep up the pressure!

Continued from my previous post.

A 25-person crew has been working hard to support 17 line crossers, lockdowners, and sludge canoers. We still need to bail out 4 people at $2,000 each, and have got over 40 mouths to feed. Shameless plea for money :0)

Be part of ending mountaintop removal: ban its combustion in your community, volunteer in Appalachia, and donate to Coal River 17’s legal fund.

Full updates at MountainJustice.org

Breaking: Civil Disobedience at WV Mountaintop Removal and Coal Sludge Impoundment Sites

CONTACT: Sludge Watch Collective 304-854-7372

Update: Update 5:23 PM- Nine protesters are still in custody. Two are being held for the action at the Brushy Fork dam, seven for the line crossing at Pettus. Police have informed jail support that bail will be set at $2,000 each- $18,000 needs to be raised in total. Please donate to the bail fund now!!!

COAL RIVER VALLEY, WV– Activists are engaged in two separate civil disobedience actions this morning as part of the continuing campaign to end mountaintop removal. 9 people have locked themselves to mining equipment on a Patriot Coal mountaintop removal mine on Kayford Mountain and another team of activists has spread a 20×60 foot banner on the surface of Massey Energy’s Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment near Pettus, W.Va. The activists are part of a coalition that includes Mountain Justice, Climate Ground Zero and concerned individuals.

At noon today, more protesters are expected to converge at the gate to the Brushy Fork dam with hundreds of pairs of shoes to represent the number of immediate deaths should the dam fail.

More details to follow. Video, still images and breaking news will be posted continually to www.mountainjustice.org.

Energizing Clinton County, Ohio

Energize Clinton CountyAs I rolled into Wilmington, OH this Wednesday, a small farming community in southwest Ohio and the site of the largest economic collapse I’ve ever known in this country, I daydreamed of slowly dilapidating buildings and for sale signs lining the streets. This is the story that 60 minutes and other big media have covered, but it’s not the one I went to find and it’s not the one I saw.

Wilmington hosted shipping company DHL’s national hub of operations, which began to close down last year after the economic downturn and is preparing to fully close its U.S. operations this summer. This makes for a total of 8,000 jobs lost from a 12,000 person town.

That’s where the story of Mark Rembert, Taylor Stuckert, and Energize Clinton County begins. Mark and Taylor postponed Peace Corps duties to save their hometown through community organizing and grassroots economic development. I entered their donated downtown office into a meeting with the only Clinton County energy auditor, amongst buy local banners and Green For All posters.

In the shadow of a mono-industry way of life, ECC is pioneering a new way. Mark spoke excitedly about Wilmington’s potential, saying “we’re only capitalizing on 10% of our potential, we have so much room to grow!”. However, having submitted the largest weatherization program in US history to mostly deaf ears, during a glut of money for such programs, it’s clear that their work is cut out for them.

Time shall tell whether ECC can pull Wilmington out of this crisis. The federal response is helping, but ultimately the solutions must be local. Taylor said the stimulus package is like “trying to fit a square peg through a round hole, or drinking out of a firehose”, that our organic community networks have eroded and it takes a lot of work to rebuild them. Things are about to get very interesting in Wilmington. To learn from ECC, you can check out their Energize Your Community toolkit, Energize Your Garden toolkit, and more at http://EnergizeCC.com.

Students Send Window-Washing Wakeup Call to Ohio Utility

amp1-smWritten by OSU student Kaitlyn Maywhoor:
Yesterday morning, the Ohio Student Environmental Coalition held a protest outside of the American Municipal Power headquarters in Columbus.

The plan was to wash AMP’s windows to help them “See the Light” while holding murals depicting Ohio’s future with AMP’s proposed coal-fired power plant versus Ohio’s future with renewable energy. However, when the group arrived there were two police cars and a paddy wagon parked outside the headquarters.

After talking with the police officers, OSEC Steering Committee co-chairs Kristen Arnold (Freshman, OSU) and Leah Winnike (Sophomore, University of Dayton) were allowed a meeting with AMP spokespeople Jolene Thompson and Kent Carson.
Continue reading ‘Students Send Window-Washing Wakeup Call to Ohio Utility’

Mattie Reitman

Mattie is a member of the Ohio Student Environmental Coalition's Steering Committee, an organization he founded at Power Shift 07. He is proud to support a growing statewide network of student groups working for a clean, safe, and just future for all. Mattie originally got involved as a Syracuse University student who saw a pressing need for climate action, later as an Energy Justice Network intern who began to realize the human impacts of coal, and finally as an OSEC organizer committed to building an economy and climate worth fighting for. He also has a degree in women's studies and sociology, is a founding member of the Mountain Justice Spring Break Planning Collective and an intentional community in Columbus, and is the convener of the Energy Action Coalition's Anti-Oppression working group.

Community Picks