DC Rising Tide:Pepco(al) under Fire for Sourcing Electricity from Coal

By scott parkin

DC residents with the activist group DC Rising Tide today publicly presented their demands that Pepco stop sourcing electricity from coal, and particularly coal from Mountain Top Removal coal mining. The activists made their demands for renewable energy with a theatrical fight between “Pepcoal” and wind power in front of the headquarters of Pepco and its parent company Pepco Holdings.

DC Rising Tide

“As a DC resident receiving my power from Pepco, I am outraged that most of that electricity comes from burning coal, especially from coal from the Mountain Top Removal coal mining destroying Appalachia,” said Erica Madrid.

The activists demonstrated the role that Pepco Holdings plays in the destruction of mountains and valleys in Appalachia by enacting a fight between coal and a coal-burning power plant and wind energy, with the
mountains and the planet representing the stakes in the fight.

“Pepco is supporting the destruction of Appalachian mountains, communities, and streams, as well as the destruction of the global climate by using all that coal,” said Andrew Thomaides, as he handed out fliers to
Pepco staff.

In 2008, the electricity that Pepco provided to DC residents came mainly (53%) from coal, and only 0.5% came from wind energy. A large part of the coal burned for Pepco electricity has come from Mountaintop Removal mining in Appalachia. In addition, the parent company Pepco Holdings, Inc. owns two coal- fired power plants and a number of other fossil fuel plants. Pepco Holdings renewable energy facilities represent less than 1% of the generating capacity of the facilities it owns. The company is even planning the construction of two new fossil fuel power plants.

The DC Rising Tide group’s demands include that Pepco Holdings stop sourcing electricity from Mountain Top Removal coal mining, replaces that electricity with renewable energy, and stop construction of new fossil fuel power plants. The public demand today comes several weeks after the group sent a letter with their demands to Pepco Holdings. The group received a letter in response that failed to respond to their key demands.

Mountain Top Removal coal mining means blowing off most of a mountain and pushing the fill into the valleys. MTR has destroyed over 500 mountains and over 2,000 miles of streams in Appalachia. Mining and burning of coal also represents one of the greatest sources of greenhouse gas pollution, which is fueling the climate change that threatens life on Earth.

DC Rising Tide, an all-volunteer collective organizing for climate justice, is making its demands of Pepco Holdings in solidarity with the communities of Appalachia that are struggling and taking action to stop
the destruction of their mountains.

For more information and photos see www.dcrisingtide.blogspot.com