Sierra Club Fills Yet Another Coal Ash Hearing
This week was the second-to-last Environmental Protection Agency public hearing on coal ash. This hearing was in Louisville, Kentucky, and again, Sierra Club organizers (including our Kentucky Water Sentinels) did amazing work turning out hundreds of people who support strong federal safeguards on toxic coal ash.
The day went very well, according to Sierra Club organizers Tom Pearce and Lauren McGrath. The day started off with Greenpeace hanging a huge banner from the hotel where the hearing was being held.
McGrath and Pearce said EPA hearing from clean energy advocates all day. Then at mid-day, the Sierra Club and allies held a press event.
That evening the coalition held a rally featuring a keynote address from Wendell Berry. From there, the huge crowd of more than 250 people marched to LG&E to call on the utility to clean up its coal.
Later in the evening, the crowd followed Berry back in to the hearing where he gave his rousing testimony followed by a very long standing ovation, said McGrath and Pearce.
Here's a good quote from Nachy Kanfer, a Beyond Coal Campaign organizer in Ohio:
The coal industry people were demoralized from the moment Greenpeace dropped their banner at 9am, and it went downhill from there. My favorite moment: 200 people entering the hearing room in silent single-file immediately following the rally, just in time for Wendell Berry to testify - and then giving him a 90-second standing ovation. The EPA folks just had to sit there, stare out at the packed auditorium full of yellow t-shirts, and wait for people to stop clapping before they could be heard to call the next number.
Way to go, Beyond Coal organizers!