Monday, January 29, 2007

Glades County Group Joins FPL Coal Power Protest

"Save It Now Glades" Joins Miami Protest

MOORE HAVEN, FLORIDA -- Environmental & social justice activists from across Florida and the South, including "Save It Now Glades" will this week protest the "Coaltrans Americas" 2007 annual international coal industry convention in Miami, Florida. The Coaltrans convention, happening on January 31st and February 1st in Key Biscayne's Ritz-Carlton resort, will bring business leaders and government officials from the energy, utilities, banking, transportation, and insurance sectors together in Miami from throughout the Americas.

The purpose of this Coaltrans "International Networking Event for the North & South American Coal Markets" event is to promote coal development throughout the Western Hemisphere. Activist groups will rally to present loud & visible creative protest actions that will:  urge investors to pursue clean energy development instead of coal; demand that coal producers immediately cease environmental destruction including "mountain-top removal"  coal-mining and global warming pollution; and  highlight the urgent crisis of human rights abuses and violent exploitation committed by the coal industry on rural and indigenous communities, and mineworkers, throughout the Americas.

The environmental coalition says major coal industry decision-makers & representatives attending the "Coaltrans Americas" convention are responsible for human rights violations against coalfield communities and mineworkers, as well as high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution leading to an epidemic of children suffering asthma, and massive expanses of irreplaceable land destroyed by mining. "Despite the fact that global warming is accelerating every day, over 150 new coal power plants are now planned to be built in the United States," including one in Florida's Everglades, the proposed coal power plant in Glades County, Florida. They say, "Local, regional and worldwide grassroots opposition to these irresponsible, deadly practices of the coal industry is intense and growing, from the Everglades and Appalachia in the southern US to Colombia and Venezuela in South America. A diverse alliance of local Miami and regional Southern activists will – for the first time – protest the annual Coaltrans Americas convention, in order to raise public awareness about the problems with coal and give voice to a common demand for rapid society-wide transitioning away from harmful, unsustainable coal use & towards clean, renewable energy sources."

The Wednesday January 31st protest will focus on coal issues in North America. The Thursday February 1st protest will focus on coal issues in Latin America. A public event open-to-all featuring speakers & films critical of coal will take place this Thursday evening at the Wallflower Gallery in downtown Miami (starting 7 pm; location: 10 NE 3rd St).


  1. Anonymous5:57 PM

    I'm always amazed that when protests like this begin, we always hear "Tear it down! Shut it Down", but there is never a solution to the problem being protested.

    The real issue facing South Florida isn't whether or not a coal plant is being built, it's the looming energy crisis facing our citizens. Conservation methods and renewable forms like wind and solar are great, but they don't provide enough baseload power to keep the lights on in a state like Florida. Unless there is some sort of new generation built, and soon, we are at risk for the rolling blackouts and energy shortfalls that have plagued California for the last several years. Those affected the most will be those with the most to loose: the elderly, the poor, and the sick.

    So while I support your right to protest, I have to ask, what's your solution?

  2. Anonymous4:30 PM

    There are many better solutions. For example, the organizer of the Miami demonstration recently completed construction of an perfectly comfortable energy-independent home. Families like hers are leading the way to solutions. Pursuing these new solutions will employ more people and create new economic opportunities for our region, without damaging our future.

    It is more logical to take risks with new ways of generating and conserving energy than it is to take excessive risks with the future of our state.

    By the way, the acute power crisis in California years ago was largely the result of deregulation that allowed a large corporation to manipulate energy supplies to maximize profits. Remember ENRON? People do forget so quickly.

    California is also planning to use the gasification coal technology that FPL says they can't build for south Florida. Meanwhile, Tampa and Orlando electric utilities are building gasification plants and pursuing research for carbon dioxide sequestration. Now that's an example of pursuing real solutions!