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July 19, 2013

River Rouge Residents Stand Up to Coal

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Last week more than 50 residents from the Michigan communities of River Rouge, Ecorse, and Detroit traveled to the state's capitol of Lansing to give public comments at the Michigan Public Service Commission renewable energy hearing for DTE Energy, which operates a coal-fired power plant in River Rouge and has its corporate headquarters in Detroit.
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Six community residents including Douglas "Gstyles" Myers (in the hat in the above photograph, next to Patrick Geans of Sierra Club Detroit), Vicki Dobbins (River Rouge School Board Member), Tish Foley, Donna Eady, Todd Foley and Shannon King gave comments at the hearing before judge Teresa Sheets and two corporate attorneys for DTE as the remaining community members sat in attendance. Also testifying before the hearing were Clean Energy Now coalition (CEN) members Brad Van Guilder (Sierra Club) and Eric Keller (Clean Water Action).
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Gstyles and local school board member Vicki Dobbins.

Following the hearing, community members joined CEN for a press conference outside where two local television affiliates and two Lansing radio stations covered the event. Van Guilder (pictured speaking below) and Keller opened the press conference with comments on why DTE was forced to reduce their renewable energy surcharges by 86 percent after over charging rate payers for more than $90 million over the past three years. Myers, his younger brother Rick Myers, Dobbins, DeAngelo Clark, Foley, and King also spoke at the press conference.

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Here's some great footage of that press conference.
 
"It was an incredible experience. I've got to give most of the credit though to my incredible lead volunteer Douglas 'Gstyles' Myers and (Sierra Club Environmental Justice Organizer) Rhonda Anderson," said Sierra Club Detroit's Patrick Geans. "River Rouge is amazing community of people who really support each other out of a true sense of community and family."

You might remember River Rouge when Sierra magazine featured the community in the "Cost of Coal" series last fall. See more photos of the July press conference here on Facebook.


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