Asheville Green Drinks hosts Bruce Niles May 23 for launch of local Beyond Coal initiative

FROM ASHEVILLE GREEN DRINKS (full press release)
Join Bruce Nilles, the Sierra Club’s Senior Director of the national Beyond Coal Campaign, to help launch Asheville Beyond Coal!

Named by Rolling Stone as one of American’s 100 Agents of Change, Bruce Nilles has a decade long history of fighting the coal industry and winning. Since 2002, Bruce has led the Sierra Club and its partners and allies to successfully block construction of 168 coal-fired power plants and secure commitments for the retirement of 109 existing coal plants. He will be in town on May 23rd to share success stories and jump-start an effort to move Asheville Beyond Coal.

Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign has been tremendously successful in the last few years. Coal is now providing the lowest amount of energy for the U.S. in our nation’s history, and wind and solar energy are coming online in record numbers. North Carolina now ranks 8th in the U.S. for cumulative installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity. The cost of solar is dropping rapidly, and for many electric utilities, certain solar PV systems are already cost competitive. North Carolina has incredible potential for creating offshore wind power and we have the best shallow-water wind resources on the Atlantic Coast.

Here in NC, we recognize the tremendous potential for clean energy to power our state and generate long-term economic growth, but our laws and policies are outdated, and powerful interests want to maintain the status quo. In Asheville, Progress Energy’s Asheville coal plant is responsible for toxic coal ash pollution that threatens residents and our waterways. The Asheville plant also burns mountaintop removal coal, which is threatening the health and livelihoods of West Virginia communities. Instead of burning coal, Progress instead should power a clean energy future for Asheville.

Please join us as we announce the Asheville Beyond Coal campaign, calling on Progress Energy to protect human health and the environment by retiring the Asheville coal plant and replacing the power with clean energy solutions. Come find out how you can join us in creating a clean energy future!

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