From the Sierra Club:
On Satuday, July 12, local activist group Yogis Beyond Coal joined with Sierra Club to co-host an event in Pack Square Park in Asheville, highlighting community concerns with the local coal-fired power plant. The gathering, called Move for the Movement, sought to underscore that healthy living and clean energy are two sides of the same coin for Asheville residents.
The event featured a free public yoga class by Yogis Beyond Coal founder Lisa Sherman and a call from the community to retire the Asheville coal plant and transition to clean energy sources. The culmination of the action was a collective spelling out of “Beyond Coal” by a large number of yoga practitioners on the park grass. Additional festivities included a performance by local band Ösel on a solar powered stage.
“The practice of Yoga is a key element of healthy living as individuals. But health is also a collective pursuit,” said Sherman. “Asheville’s coal plant threatens the health of individuals and communities throughout western North Carolina.” She continued, “We partnered with Sierra Club to empower people to take their yoga off of the mat and into the world to call for the retirement of Duke Energy’s Asheville coal plant — one of the most dangerous and toxic influences on the health of our region. Asheville residents will breathe easier once Duke Energy’s coal plant is replaced with clean energy.”
Duke Energy’s Asheville coal plant contributes to numerous regional environmental hazards, say Sierra Club representatives. The plant is the largest source of climate-disrupting pollution in Western North Carolina, and years of data, including an investigation by the French Broad Riverkeeper, confirms that toxic pollution is leaking from its coal ash pits into both the river and groundwater.
Kelly Martin, senior campaign Representative for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, adds, “We are a healthy community which, unfortunately, is powered by the dirtiest form of carbon polluting energy: coal. Over 168 coal plants across the country are slated for retirement in the coming years. There is no reason why Duke Energy can’t follow suit and power Asheville with cleaner sources of energy; power sources that don’t pollute our climate, our groundwater and the French Broad River.”