Turbines beat Smokestacks

Clean Power won over Dirty Power Tuesday as Massachusetts Colleges Joined the Clean Energy Revolution at the State House
To visually and humorously represent the two sides, the students staged a boxing match between a wind turbine and a coal smokestack. With one student wearing a wind turbine costume and one wearing a smokestack costume, they met in a fierce mock battle. Ab

By Walter Brooks

The clash between clean energy and dirty power took physical form on Tuesday at the Massachusetts State House when a student dressed as a wind turbine boxed a student in a smoke stack costume.

Other students watched and cheered on the wind turbine in order to show their support for clean energy in Massachusetts and to support efforts to curb global warming.

Students from Boston and the Northeast converged at the State House to demand a Clean Energy Revolution. The students, along with EnviroCitizen and Clean Power Now, want the revolution to begin here in Massachusetts, with the approval of the Cape Wind Project by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The young wind turbine leans down over the defeated coal smokestack at the State House today

Hundreds of letters and postcards gathered by students were presented to various offices and politicians. The press conference which followed the fight allowed students like Kelly Muellman of Northeastern University to have her voice heard. â??It is imperative to my health. It concerns me that with every deep breath, I am taking in toxic chemicals that do not need to be in the air.â?

Esmeralda Stuk of Boston University has other reasons for supporting the wind farm, which she talks about in her letter to the Army Corps. â??I would like to express my strong support for the Cape Wind Project because of the contribution it will make to CO2 reductions. Iâ??d like to thank the Army Corps of Engineers once again for the opportunity to give my input into a decision that will affect my future.â?

The Cape Cod Times on Tuesday corrected themselves again: they ran a story stating they were in error in reporting that the Cape Cod Chapter of the League of Women Voters had voted to oppose Cape Wind when in fact the opposite was true. See their correction here.

In another related item Tuesday, GE workers on the North Shore are circulating a petition urging the public's support for wind power in general, and the Cape Wind project in particular "The GE petition contends that wind power reduces the nation's dependence on foreign oil and preserves 'living wage, family supporting jobs' ". The GE Lynn plant is where turbines for the Cape Wind farm project would be built adding several hundred new jobs to the state. See the Lynn Item story here. By the weekend the Herald was covering the story as well here.

The event took place shortly before the end of the Army Corps of Engineers public comment period on its Draft Environmental Impact Statement next week.

After the donnybrook EnviroCitizenâ??s campus organizer Riley Neugebauer attempted to give copies of her Declaration of Independence from Dirty Energy to the stateâ??s political heavies. â??We invited legislators and policymakers, and itâ??s not acceptable for them to not listen to what the youth want,â? Neugebauer said before she hand-delivered the stacks of petitions to Romney, Reilly, Kennedy and Kerry. â??We hope our comments are not taken lightly, because we are the next generation of air breathers.â?

  • WHO: Students from Boston University, Boston College, Brandeis, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Tufts, Hampshire College, Williams, Brown, Colgate, and Unity College, along with EnviroCitizen and Clean Power Now.
  • WHEN: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, February 15, 2005- the day before the international Kyoto Protocol on global warming goes into effect.
  • WHERE: Massachusetts State House, Nurse's Hall.
  • WHY: Students show their support of the Cape Wind Project, signaling their demand for a Clean Energy Revolution which means clean air, clean energy, environmental justice, and independence from dirty energy.

The student organizers addressed a supportive crowd at the State House in Boston today

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gives the public has until Feb. 24 to comment on the Cape Wind draft environmental impact report. Comments can be sent to [email protected] or mailed to Cape Wind Energy Project EIS Manager Karen K. Adams, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division, 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 07142-2751.

The new Boston alternative newspaper, the Weekly Dig, ran another report on the "fight". 
For further information visit the Clean Power Now web site or the EnviroCitizen site.

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