Major Coal Plant Lockdown in Virginia

posted by Robin Beck

At roughly 6 A.M. this morning more than 20 peaceful protesters participated in a lockdown with steel barrels at the construction site for a giant new coal-fired power plant in Wise County, VA.

Right now, at 7:19 A.M. the lockdown, which is the first project of RAN’s new Action Tank, continues at the site where Dominion Virginia wants to build a 585 megawatt plant.

Pictures from the action deployment are up on RAN’s Flickr site and you can follow all the news and updates today at

Note that the solar panels on the barrels are functional and provide power for the illuminated banner.

This plant has been the focus of a major local struggle to resist the expansion of coal industry and support strong sustainable economic development. The area has been devastated by mountaintop removal coal mining and the local economy, despite the huge presence of the coal industry, is struggling.

I toured a mountaintop removal site in Wise County this weekend. The pictures speak for themselves:

Personally I am just so inspired by these activists from across the region, and the country, who have converged to shine a bright light on this issue, to escalate the pressure on the coal industry to stop destroying Appalachia and to take a stand for real prosperity.