Activists Push Clean Energy on National Day of Action
The last week of September, Sierra Club activists from coast to coast participated in a National Day of Action to voice their support for clean energy. At rallies, public hearings, press conferences, town hall meetings, brown bag lunches, and coal tours, citizens drove home the message that the country is ready to move beyond coal and invest in clean energy.
Above, Kansas Chapter activists held a press conference in Lawrence, calling on Topeka-based Westar Energy to install more effective pollution controls and improve compliance with the Clean Air Act. Sierra Club representative Stephanie Cole is pictured speaking at the event.
As part of the Day of Action, the Club's Campuses Beyond Coal campaign held photo petition events on a dozen college campuses. At the University of Colorado, below, students heard Club organizer Roger Singer talk about ways to phase out coal-based energy from Xcel Energy and the Valmont coal plant in Boulder, then collected more than 240 photo petitions to help make it happen.
In Washington and Oregon, hundreds rallied and testified at public hearings held by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on its draft plan for energy use in the region over the next 20 years. Below, ralliers in Eugene, Oregon.
In Louisiana, activists rallied outside Entergy's headquarters in New Orleans, below, to demand serious investment in renewable technology and energy efficiency. The theme of the rally was "Christmas in September," and Santa had a bag of coal addressed to Entergy's CEO. "We received support not only from people on the street, but surprisingly, from those working in Entergy Tower," says Sierra Club organizer Jordan Macha.
In Virginia, citizens gathered outside City Hall in Alexandria to protest the mountaintop removal that is devastating the southern Appalachian Mountains. People signed postcard petitions to the state's Council on Environmental Quality, calling for a freeze on new MTR permits in the state.
West Virginians, below, protested MTR and the Department of Environmental Protection's failure to protect the state's drinking water supplies. At a stand outside DEP headquarters in Charleston, activists handed out "coalfield kool-aid" representing the slurry water coming out of residential faucets near the coal operations.
In Missoula, Montana, 70 people gathered on the University of Montana campus calling for a stop to the proposed Otter Creek coal development. And in Reno, below, the Club's Toiyabe Chapter held a panel discussion, "Beyond Coal in Nevada," focusing on renewable energy and how the state can wean itself off coal.