It was just over two years ago when Greenpeace activists went into the coal plant in South Asheville and hung banners. They did it to point out that coal is destroying our mountains, destroying our air, causing climate change and poisoning our water and our lands. They were arrested for this action. And yet, the very corporations that are destroying our water, land and air are not arrested.
And if my memory serves me correctly, Sheriff Duncan expressed the opinion that those activists were acting like terrorists. Duncan was concerned that they could have shut down power production at the plant. In my opinion, it is Progress Energy (now Duke Energy) that is (and was) engaging in criminal behavior. They are the ones who are destroying our land, our air, our waterways and groundwater.
The activists were correct, and they were heroes in my eyes for doing what they did to point out the problems that coal and coal ash are causing us. Those activists need to be seriously listened to by our legislators, our law enforcement personnel and Duke Energy’s CEO and management. Their recommendations need to be acted on.
We need to go for clean and renewable energy. Our N.C. legislature and state officials need to take action on this issue, and they need to do it now.
And I hope former Rep. Heath Shuler, who now works as chief lobbyist for Duke Energy, takes his kids on vacation this summer to play in the Dan River in Virginia. Maybe they can dig around in the muck and find some turtle shells or fish skeletons. And maybe Mr. Shuler can reflect on what he is doing with his life and how it impacts his children’s future.
— Susan Oehler