16 Greenpeace activists have pleaded guilty to trespass and were fined today in Buncombe County Court. The activists took part in a protest at the Asheville Progress Energy coal plant in February this year.
“These activists were compelled to take action because of the great harm coal does to the community’s health, wellbeing and future. Coal fired power plants kill at least 13,000 people a year in the United States and are responsible for thousand of cases of asthma, respiratory illness and heart attacks. What’s more, they are the number one single source of climate change causing pollution,” said coal campaign director Gabe Wisniewski
Five of the activists who scaled a 400 ft smokestack to hang a banner reading “The climate needs real Progress” had charges of breaking and entering dismissed by the Judge. All 16 activists will pay restitution to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department.
“Progress Energy is polluting the air, poisoning the water, destroying mountains and causing climate change. It’s time North Carolina moved away from destructive 19th century fuels and towards a new energy economy,” said Mr Wisniewski.