Opposition to Progress Energy’s proposed power plant in Woodfin gained a new ally last week, when members of Rising Tide, an activist group concerned with climate change, strung a banner atop a Woodfin billboard. Nine Asheville police cruisers arrived on the scene and removed the protestors and their banner with help from a fire department ladder truck.
“Western North Carolina is already suffering from some of the worst air pollution in the country,” said Micah Lee, an Asheville resident who was perched atop the billboard. “By building an oil-burning plant that we don’t even really need, Progress is choosing to endanger our health for the sake of profit instead of making the necessary investments in energy conservation and clean energy.” Both Lee and Abigail Singer were charged with misdemeanor trespassing.
Progress Energy spokesperson Ken Maxwell told Xpress, “We certainly have freedom of speech here and that’s the way they chose to address this issue. It would have been great if they could find a more constructive way to address it.”
— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer