Greenville, SC -- Two protesters locked themselves to the 1.5 million pound generator destined for Duke Energy’s Cliffside coal plant in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Protesters are vowing to prevent the generator, which has been traveling across South Carolina on a 300 foot trailer, from reaching the coal plant. “Our nation has no choice, we must stop burning coal. The only choice that we can make is whether we do that in time to still have breathable air, drinkable water, a livable climate, and standing mountains,” said, Catherine Anne. Protesters also draped a large banner from the top of the generator reading, “Stop Cliffside.” After blocking the shipment for about an hour, four people were arrested including the two who were locked down. Their names are: Julia Allen Page, Paul Webb Loomis, Catherine Ann MacDougal, and Rachel Anne Scarano.

The controversial Cliffside coal plant would emit over 6 million tons of carbon dioxide ever year in addition to toxic levels of heavy metals such as mercury, greatly exacerbating global warming and our abysmal air quality. Duke Energy is seeking to raise electricity rates in order to pay for the construction of Cliffside at a time when record numbers of families are struggling to put food on the table due to the recession.

This act of civil disobedience comes a week before world leaders meet in Copenhagen to hash out a global climate agreement. “Any agreement made in Copenhagen will be meaningless if the US continues to build coal plants such as Cliffside. It is time to tear down coal plants, not construct new ones,” said Rachel Scarano, who was locked down to the generator. There are currently 43 coal plants proposed or under construction in the US, though over 100 others have been canceled due to widespread protests.

Since it was first proposed, there has been massive opposition to Cliffside. In the past year and a half over 60 people have been arrested protesting the plant, and they vow to continue the fight. “Since politicians and corporations refuse to take serious action to stop climate change, citizens must step in to shut down coal plants,” said Attila Nemecz. The protest was organized by Asheville Rising Tide and Croatan Earth First! and is part of a national day of action with dozens of protests around the country including Chicago, New York City, Washington DC, and San Francisco.

Directions to site: From I-85 in Greenville, exit onto US 25/ White Horse Rd. Go South on 25 for 2 miles. Left at Augusta Rd. Protest is .5 miles down the road on right.