Saturday, July 21, 2007

Reject flawed energy bill: Readers please call Governor Easley

The North Carolina legislature is on the verge of passing a "Clean Energy Bill" that started out green but is now an environmental travesty.

The bill has had so many modifications tacked onto it that it now favors coal and nuclear energy far more than it does renewable sources. Duke Energy is clamoring for passage, because the bill has been retooled to heavily favor Duke Energy's financial profits. Legislators who are heavily invested in Duke Energy stocks are also strongly supportive of the bill (S3). Meanwhile, citizens who care about the future of the planet and about human health are desperately trying to put the skids on this bill before it is too late. The Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News and Observer have both firmly stated their objections to bill S3.. State leaders must
fix it or nix it.

Here's what you can do:

Call Governor Easley or House Speaker Joe Hackney (contact info below) to ask them to reject this bill; ask everyone you know to call. It's easy - you will most likely get a recording that will allow you to leave a message. Or you may get a secretary who will take a message.

Here's why we must reject this bill:

The power companies and hog industry have loaded what began as a renewable energy bill with measures that are very likely to:

· raise your power bills and threaten our state economy

· squander our chances to slow global warming

· allow 2,000 hog waste “lagoons” to continue harming our communities and rivers

· undermine our growing industry for renewable/efficient energy

· shift the risks for multi-billion dollar coal and nuclear plants onto ratepayers

This bill would create a “cost-plus” gravy train for coal and nuclear power plant contractors, NOT the much needed transition to clean energy and lower greenhouse gases.

EVEN WORSE, this bill leaves a gaping loophole that would allow the hog industry to undermine the years of work that have gone toward converting hog cesspools into cleaner technologies. The hog corps want the cheaper way out – capturing methane directly from the lagoons, selling it for energy, BUT LEAVING THE LAGOONS AND SPRAY FIELDS IN PLACE. This would relegate neighboring communities and our rivers to continued suffering from their horrible pollution.

How can ANYONE reconcile leaving such an abuse in place in the name of “clean energy?”

Scores of organizations are coming out against this huge corporate giveaway – advocates for health, social justice, the environment, seniors, consumers, low-income residents, river protection and conservative think tanks.

Power companies and the hog industry are used to getting their way in the legislature because of their well-funded lobby squads and hefty campaign contributions. This time, the stakes are far too high to allow more “business as usual.”

Make a short call or email to House Speaker Hackney and Governor Easley TODAY. Urge them to STOP bill S-3 UNLESS:

· Provisions promoting new coal and nuclear plants are removed.

· Full environmental protections at hog and poultry waste-to-energy plants are added.

· Provisions allowing utilities to grossly overcharge for energy efficiency are removed.

HOUSE SPEAKER JOE HACKNEY: He must use his clout to overhaul this bill:

919-733-3451 or

Governor Easley 1-800-662-7952

NC WARN: Waste Awareness & Reduction Network or

919-416-5077 PO Box 61051, Durham, 27715

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