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December 08, 2009

MD Chapter Rallies in Baltimore for Clean Energy

No path
The Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club rallied December 1st at a park in downtown Baltimore to call on the state to oppose proposed transmission lines to a Virginia coal plant and instead invest in clean energy.

Maryland Chapter Conservation Coordinator Alana Wase said power plant and grid operators want to build 450 miles of high voltage transmission lines across pristine habitat in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
MD street

"The lines, if built, would enable dirty coal fired power plants to ramp up production: burning more coal, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and mountain top removal mining, and further delaying the switch to renewable energy," said Wase in an email.

On top of that - the lines cost a whopping $3 billion, all to be paid for by consumers.
MD rally crowd

And despite the cold weather, more than 140 people showed up at the Dec. 1 rally to call for clean energy instead of more dirty coal power.

Wase said that according to expert testimony, the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) power lines alone, would increase greenhouse gas emissions by 7.79 million tons per year, that would be the equivalent of adding 25% more cars in Maryland. The coalition of groups that organized the Dec. 1 rally also oppose the planned Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway transmission lines.
MD chapter rally sign

Speakers at the rally cheered on clean energy and pointed out the many flaws in the transmission line plans.

"These transmission lines are nothing more than extension cords connecting Maryland to more dirty energy sources," said Brad Heavner, state director of Environment Maryland.  "At a time when Maryland needs to be investing aggressively in clean energy in order to meet the pollution reduction goals we've laid out, these power lines are a giant step in the wrong direction."

Other speakers included:
  • Mike Tidwell, Director and founder, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
  • Lewis Evans, CEO, Solar Resources International Inc.
  • Peter Van Buren, President, TerraLogos Energy Group
  • Patience Wait, Community Activist
  • Zoe Keller, student leader, Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Zainab Boone-Kukoyi, Student Leader, Coppin State University
  • Ricky Young, Community Activists, Citizens Against Kemptown Substation
  • Delegate Barbara Frush

MD march

After listening to the speakers, the rally-goers marched over to the Maryland Public Service Commission building to chant against coal.

Rally at PSC

Wase called the day a big success. Fellow clean energy organizer Byron Banghart even made an excellent video of the day's events - take a look.

America the Sustainable- Clean Energy Rally.

Photos courtesy of Alana Wase.


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