Charleston, WV - Lunch time as
usual was interrupted in the Capitol
(report from itsgettinghotinhere.org)
Building of West Virginia today when a spontaneous Fossil Fools Awards Ceremony began. The ceremony was held to celebrate West Virginia governor Joe Manchin and Coal Baron Don Blankenship receiving the prestigious award of Life Time Achievement in Fossil Foolery in Appalachia. Unfortunately, neither Manchin nor Blankenship were able to collect their awards in person, but news cameras from several local TV stations were there as stand-ins accepted the awards in their honor.
Unfortunately, Manchin and Blankenship were beat out by Bush and Cheney for the International Fossil Fools Lifetime Achievement Award. Because of their hard work, however, we decided to award them a special Appalachian Fossil Fools Award. O
ur own boys can certainly brag that they’ve done more than their share for a small state when it comes to advancing the cause of enhancing the profits of big coal at the expense of our economy, our mountains, and our future.
Activists showed up with 8 foot high model wind turbines and a functional mobile solar panel to show alternatives to fossil fuel use, advocating for a clean just energy transition away from the toxic coal industry that has crushed West Virginia’s economy. Several thousand green jobs in wind turbine and solar panel manufacturing are just across from the West Virginia border in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Governor Manchin’s insistence on being a fossil fool has not allowed industry like this to employ West Virginia workers.
Don “Blank-Check” Blankenship has spent $5 million getting his coal cronies into the WV Supreme courts and state legislature, or at least trying to, as in the last election, 39 of the 40 candidates he funded lost. Blankenship’s company Massey has a history of union busting, safety violations and violating water pollution standards more than 4500 times over six years. Massey was recently subject to a 2.4 billion fine for said water violations, but only had to pay $20 million of that. Massey’s subsidiary in Martin County, Kentucky was responsible for the “biggest environmental disaster in the history of the southeast” when 250 million gallons of toxic sludge were released. Luckily, Blankenship has friends in high places, as he was recently documented vacationing in Monaco with WV Supreme Court Justice Spike Maynard.
Governor “Baloney” Joe Manchin is trying to line up support for five coal-to-liquids plants in the state. Each one these experimental facilities will cost a couple of billion dollars—to be heavily subsidized by taxpayers in the poorest state in the US, of course. Manchin strip mined his own family land to fuel a gob plant there. Combine this with his refusal to help build a safe new school at Marsh Fork Elementary, which is within 300 feet of a coal processing plant and at the foot of a 2.8 billion gallon toxic coal waste dam, and you see that Baloney Joe is a truly a fossil fool of the highest order.
Fossil Fool festivities continued with a less than successful attempt to drop our West Virginia Foolie by Manchin’s
office, but no fear.
North Carolina - 8 Arrested as Residents
Shut Down Construction at Cliffside Coal Plant
(report from fossilfoolsdayofaction.org)
At 6:30 this morning, North Carolina residents locked themselves to bulldozers
to stop the construction of Duke Energy’s massive Cliffside coal-fired
power plant being built 50 miles west of Charlotte, NC. “In the face
of catastrophic climate change, building a new coal plant is tantamount to
signing a death sentence for our generation,” said local farmer Matt
Wallace, while locked to a bulldozer. The concerned citizens also roped off
the construction site with “Global Warming Crime Scene” tape and
held banners that read “Coal Fuels Climate Change” and “Social
Change, not Climate Change.”
Shortly after activists locked themselves to construction equipment, police
arrived on the scene and used pain compliance holds and tazers to force them
to unlock themselves.
The act of civil disobedience is one of over 100 protests taking place around
the world on what climate activists are calling Fossil Fools Day, a confrontational
day of protest targeting companies responsible for runaway carbon dioxide emissions.
The day of action was organized by the international Rising Tide network and
its allies to demand an end to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels and
a just, rapid transition to sustainable ways of living. In Nottingham, UK,
climate activists blockaded the offices of E-on, a company trying to build
a new generation of coal-fired power stations, while another group in Wales
halted work at one of the biggest opencast coal mines in Europe.
The new Cliffside plant is currently in legal limbo for being in violation
of the Clean Air Act. While Duke CEO Jim Rogers publicly paints Duke as a “green” energy
company, he has refused to install the best available pollution controls on
the new coal plant, as is required by federal law. The plant would pump 6 million
tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually in addition to toxic heavy
metals such as mercury.
“The Fossil Fools in government and industry are playing games with
our future: the time for lip service and half-measures is over. Direct actions
like this one are necessary to stop people like Jim Rogers, who watch the planet
burn while counting the money they make from the fire.” said Charlotte
resident Jane Calhoun.
Climate change warning signs abound: countless plant and animal species are
being pushed to the brink of extinction by warming temperatures; low-lying
islands are evacuating due to rising sea levels; droughts, tornados, and floods
are on the increase. “Climate change is the greatest threat humans have
ever faced. We should be tearing down coal plants, not building new ones,” said
Clare Jones of Asheville Rising Tide.
Public opposition to the Cliffside plant, including lawsuits, public protests
and acts of civil disobedience, has been growing steadily. “Jim Rogers
won’t have to live with the consequences of global warming. Our generation
will. We aren’t going anywhere until this plant is canceled!” said
Calhoun. A rally this Saturday in Charlotte is expected to draw hundreds of
This action was organized by Asheville Rising Tide and Earth First!
University of Kentucky - Wind turbine raised on top
of UK power plant’s
the University of Kentucky, folks from the UK Green Thumb student group, affiliates
of Mountain Justice and Bluegrass Sierra Club raised a mock wind turbine
coal pile in protest of the university’s coal-fired
power plant. The action was intended to show the futility and myopic vision
of the University’s
current energy policy. While happy to learn that UK does not use coal from
mountaintop removal sites, the State of Kentucky’s flagship university
is a fossil fool and must demonstrate leadership and a far-thinking approach
to its energy sourcing and usage.
Houston, TX - Dynegy’s HQ Gets Fossil Fool Award
Left on Their Ceiling
Ten activists with Rainforest Action Network Houston showed up to take action
on Dynegy's headquarters. While two activists delivered a Fossil Fool of the
Year award to CEO of Dynegy, Bruce Williamson, eight others released a balloon
banner in the Wells Fargo Plaza's main lobby. Activists then proceeded to pass
out literature about Dynegy, coal, and wind power in Texas to passers-by and
people entering/exiting the building. The security though unaware reacted quickly
- however not timely enough to stop the two activists from delivering the award
to Dynegy's secretary or stop the balloon banner from making it to the lobby's
ceiling. No arrests were made.
New York City - Billionaires for Dirty Energy blockade
Citibank, 2 arrested
(report from fossilfoolsdayofaction.org)
In Celebration of Fossil Fools Day - Citi takes heat for coal financing
New York, NY - At 12:30pm today over 25 Billionaires for Dirty Energy blockaded
the main entrance of Citibank’s Upper East Side headquarters, 2 were
arrested by NYPD after chaining themselves to the front doors. NYPD officers
eventually had to cut through their chains.
Dressed in tuxedos and top hats, Billionaires are demanding Citibank shift
their large-scale investments in coal-fired power plants due to coal’s
increasing investment risk. “Coal has lost its appeal as a predictable
investment; it is fraught with uncertainty” said Billionaire, Lauren
Valle, prior to being arrested by NYPD. “Bottom-line, CITI is mortgaging
our future and compromising their own long-term competitiveness.”
Billionaires held large signs reading: “Coal=Too Risky, Citi We Want
our Money Back.”
“Climate change will be a major investment theme of the future” said
Scott Parkin of Rainforest Action Network. “You don’t have to care
what global warming will do to the climate to make a bucket load of money by
preparing.” Other notable billionaires that have turned to clean energy
for their investment potential include, CEO of GE Jeffrey R. Immelt, Walmart
CEO H. Lee Scott, and maverick oilman Boone Pickens.
By all accounts coal is becoming an increasingly risky investment. In the
last three months alone, the federal government indefinitely suspended a loan
program for new coal-fired power plants in rural areas because of uncertainty
about climate change and soaring construction costs. The decision came shortly
after three major Wall Street investment banks, including Citi, announced new
rules requiring utilities to show that coal-plant proposals factor in the cost
of future carbon regulation. In addition, the federal government yanked funding
from their expensive, fantastical FutureGen plant.
Boston, MA - Activists Blockade Bank of America to Protest
Funding of Coal
(excerpt of report from fossilfoolsdayofaction.org)
April Fools! As of 9:00AM,
in conjunction with a downtown rally, four activists have locked themselves
to the front entrance of the Bank of America branch in Copley Square. They
are protesting the bank’s funding of coal and energy companies who are
among the worst contributors to climate change, and directly responsible for
innumerable human rights abuses in communities where coal is extracted and
Four arrests were made, some lock boxes were cut, while others were loaded
into the police wagon still locked to each other.
Bank of America has lent over $144 billion to companies like Massey Energy,
Arch Coal, and Peabody Energy, who are infamous for their human rights violations,
strip mining, and mountaintop removal coal mining. The demonstrators are demanding
that Bank of America stop providing funding for coal companies engaged in all
forms of surface mining and cancel all loans to new fossil fuel burning power
Portland, OR - Four-story Banner Drop
In support of Fossil Fool’s Day, Stumptown Earth First! in protest of
the LNG Oregon Pipelines, performed a four-story banner hang off of the Burnside
Bridge in downtown Portland, OR. The banner reads No New Pipelines with a no
LGN logo directly in the middle. The Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Pipeline is
a proposed project that involves three LNG processing terminals and over 600
miles of new pipeline throughout Oregon.
Stumptown Earth First! is a non-violent
direct action group based out of Portland, OR.
Portland, OR - April Fools
Day Action Targets Portland’s Climate
(excerpt of report from fossilfoolsdayofaction.org)
With a bouquet of heart shaped
balloons, a group of Portland-area climate activists calling themselves the “Greenwash
Guerrillas” presented a highly experimental new business model to
passersby in downtown Portland on Tuesday. Drawing their inspiration from
so-called carbon neutral companies like Portland’s Climate Trust,
the activists claim to be launching a new company called “Cheat
“Have you cheated on your girlfriend recently?” Lynne Tucker
of Cheat Neutral asked a passerby, “For $19.95 we can clear up your
conscience with an infidelity offset, and fund someone else to be faithful
and neutralize the heartache in the world.”