Photo Kate Davison via Capitol Climate Action @ flickr.
At a demonstration yesterday at the Capitol Power Plant, USA Today estimates several thousand Washington protesters turned out to block the gates to the facility and tell the members of Congress (whose main buildings are heated and cooled by this coal-fired facility in the middle of D.C.) to further eschew coal and mountain-top mining, and not reneg on their promise to go carbon neutral. According to Bill McKibben @ Grist it was the biggest anti-coal U.S. protest to date.
No one arrested
The protesters at Capitol Power Plant, including actor Susan Sarandon, NASA climatologist Dr. James Hansen and Robert Kennedy Jr., were flanked by a ring of police, but no one was reported arrested. Fox News reports that many protesters stayed home due to the snowstorm that hit DC on Monday and the demonstration itself was "frozen out" while CNN said hundreds made it to the plant.
The above video by the Coen brothers for the non-profit Reality.org is a hilarious send off on the entire oxymoronic idea (at least currently) that coal-fired generation can somehow be quickly and economically retrofitted to be clean. Carbon capture at the Capitol Power Plant had been previously deemed unrealistic due to location.
House drops carbon offset purchases
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced plans to convert Capitol Power Plant to fully run on natural gas by the end of this year (currently it is less than half coal-powered). However, while that move might reduce particulates and lower greenhouse gas emissions somewhat, in the meantime the House announced that it was abandoning its goal to become climate neutral by purchasing offsets. If the House can't do it, why should the rest of the world? What's the use of gathering in Copenhagen at the end of this year to firm up post-Kyoto commitments if, as the House is implying, buying offsets isn't worth it? Via: Environment News Service
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