Coal / Duke Energy

Greenpeace protests Progress Energy plant, scale smokestack

The Progress Energy plant is seen this morning across Lake Julian. Greenpeace protesters were climbing the tall smokestack on the left. / Sabian Warren/

ARDEN, NC — “The Greenpeace environmental group is staging a demonstration and protest at the Progress Energy plant, with some of its members climbing one of the plant’s huge smokestacks to unfurl a banner.

Just before 10 a.m., three climbers were visible from afar on one of the smokestacks. They were about a third of the way up the estimated 300-foot column.

Greenpeace organizing manager Ruthie Morrison said 16 people are involved in the protest, with about five scaling the smokestack. Others have secured themselves to a coal conveyor belt in an attempt to stop the flow of coal into the facility, which provides electricity for the Asheville region.

Morrison, who is from Richmond, Va., would not say how the protestors got inside the plant. They chose the plant because it burns coal, a significant pollutant, and because Progress and Duke are in the midst of a merger.”

— Sabien Warren, Asheville Citizen-Times

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