Tuesday, January 29, 2008

North Carolina Gov. Candidates Say No To Coal

Y'all might have heard, but our neighbor North Carolina recently had its leading candidates for governor urge clean energy options that create more local jobs and protect the state's valuable tourism industry instead of building a coal plant. South Carolina would do well to follow this lead.

Asheville CITIZEN-TIMES.com
Democrat gubernatorial candidates oppose new Rutherford coal plant

By Jordan Schrader

January 24, 2008 12:15 am

The Democrats vying for the governor’s job agree on something: Now is not the time for a new power plant in Rutherford County.

Duke Energy wants to build a new coal-fired unit at its Cliffside plant, saying the growing state needs more electricity and must harness traditional fuels as well as renewable sources.

On Wednesday, first State Treasurer Richard Moore and then Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue expressed their opposition to that plan.

Moore, echoed by Perdue, called for state regulators at the Division of Air Quality to wait to approve a permit for the plant.

“North Carolina should focus on new, efficient energy choices and conservation rather than building more high-polluting, coal-fired power plants,” Moore said in a statement. “This type of plant should be a last resort, not a first option.”

Environmentalists have opposed the plant, saying it would contribute to climate change and pollute the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The statements encouraged the N.C. Sierra Club, said state director Molly Diggins.

She said the authority over the permit ultimately falls to the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, appointed by the governor.

Perdue said as governor “a particular emphasis of mine will be developing a green economy” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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