Alexandria (VA) Activists Join 176 Countries in Moving Planet Day of Action
The Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club, Greenpeace and 350.org hosted Moving Planet: Alexandria (Virginia) last Saturday, September 24th - part of a worldwide rally to move beyond fossil fuels and towards clean energy such as offshore wind power. The day’s festivities celebrated the fact that in September, plans were announced to retire the GenOn coal-fired power plant in Alexandria by October of next year.
Moving Planet is a single day of action to demand solutions to the climate crisis by moving away from our dirty coal past to a clean energy future. To symbolize this shift, over 60 participants gathered near the GenOn Potomac River Coal Plant, decorating their bikes and other non-fossil fuel-based modes of transportation before moving to nearby Oronoco Bay Park for a rally supporting offshore wind power and other renewable energy sources.
Saying good-bye to our dirty coal past can put America back to work and protect our planet. A recent proposal to repurpose the GenOn site demonstrates how 2000 jobs and over $1.53 billion in new direct spending can be created in the Washington DC region.
"Congress remains stalled on energy policy, but we are ready to embrace real climate solutions here in Virginia," said Beth Kemler, Virginia state director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. "In Alexandria, that means embracing fossil fuel-free modes of transportation and supporting efforts to shift some of Virginia's electricity generation from coal to offshore wind energy."
"Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that the continued burning of fossil fuels will tip climate change into a climate catastrophe," said Robert Gardner of Greenpeace USA. "As Big Oil and King Coal continue to corrupt governments by spending $600 billion in global subsidies over the last 10 years, this community is taking the steps to protect their families by saying hello to a clean energy future."
The non-fossil fuel-based forms of transportation also symbolized the need for more investments in transportation choices like public transit, walking, and biking to address the U.S. oil addiction and to help solve the climate crisis.
People from 177 countries participated in events held around the world.
-- Phillip Ellis, Virginia Sierra Club