350 New Hampshire

No Coal, No Gas

Get involved in grassroots activism

Overview

Close Merrimack Generating Station

In July of 2019, 350NH joined the No Coal No Gas coalition aimed to shut down the coal-fired power plant in Bow, New Hampshire.

The Merrimack Generating Station in Bow, New Hampshire is the last major coal-fired power plant in New England without a shut down date. In just one hour, this plant emits as much carbon as the average American does in 26 years. If we have any chance of stopping the climate crisis, we cannot continue to burn coal. New Hampshire must invest in wind energy, solar energy, and weatherization or more people will suffer and die.

Economics

Show MoreWe don’t need coal in New England in order to meet our energy demands. The coal plant received thousands of dollars in subsidies in order to stay open. We pay the price of the climate crisis while the fossil fuel CEOs make billions of dollars.
Environmental Justice

Show MoreThe coal plant pollutes the Merrimack River and is currently being sued by Sierra Club and Conservation Law Foundation. Native people can no longer fish or drink the water because of dams and heavy industry like the coal plant. Emissions from the coal plant cause asthma, heart attacks, and death.

Climate Change

Show MoreBurning coal causes the climate crisis. Shutting down the plant for 1 hour is equivalent to 26 years of personal emissions (from the average American). We can’t go 100% renewable by 2030 if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels as soon as possible. Fracked methane gas is just as bad as coal and cannot be a replacement for coal.

Why No Coal, No Gas Matters

Just Transition

Show MoreBuilding renewable energy infrastructure keeps jobs in New Hampshire. Workers at the coal plant deserve just treatment in the transition away from fossil fuels.

Elections

Show MoreWe need politicians who will represent and protect us from the fossil fuel industry. We must hold our elected officials accountable in order for them to hold corporations accountable. We must vote for candidates who will champion climate justice and safety for us and for future generations. We must vote out elected officials who have allowed for the presence of harmful energy production in our communities, like the coal plant in Bow and who continue to support fossil fuel expansion like the Granite Bridge Pipeline.

Our Campaign

On Saturday, September 28th as part of the Global Climate Strikes Week of Action, hundreds of people from across New England showed up at the plant. We stood in a field across the street from the gigantic plant as we listened to speakers call for change and participated in singing and chanting songs of solidarity and power. Speakers demanded that our elected officials shut down the plant, stop the Granite Bridge Pipeline and sign onto a Green New Deal. They called for justice,  because this coal plant has led to pollution in the Merrimack River and higher asthma rates for the community near the plant. They talked about the need to move to renewable energy before sea level rise puts the seacoast under water.

We got the attention of local and national news outlets and brought people together to unite against burning coal in New Hampshire. In the largest act of civil disobedience in New Hampshire since the protests at the Seabrook Nuclear Plant in the 70’s, 69 individuals were arrested for trespassing onto the coal plant’s property.

There was a large militarized police presence, but the protesters were peaceful. At this stage, our leaders have failed to close dirty coal plants and the climate crisis is only getting worse. At this action, we took matters into our own hands to act on the climate crisis. We plan to continue to take action so that we may have a livable future.

In December 2019 and into the first few months of 2020, the coal plant received trains full of coal to add to their already massive coal piles. Saturday December 7th, an 80-car train full of coal rolled into Worcester, Massachusetts. Three separate groups of No Coal No Gas members successfully stalled the train from reaching Bow – for over 12 hours. The train was stalled in Worcester, again in Ayer, and one more time by the morning of December 6th in Hooksett. 

The coal eventually made it to the power plant, but this movement is growing in sophistication and power. In this first blockade, the coal was stopped for 11 hours. 24 people were arrested or issued court summons in 2 states. All it takes is a few people to bring the fossil fuel industry to a halt. 

After this initial train, various blockades were organized and stalled five different trains over the course of the next month. The blockades signaled to ISO-New England and the shareholders of the coal plant in Bow that our community is tired of letting the coal plant pollute our air, water, and climate. The No Coal No Gas coalition is continuing to build local opposition to the coal plant.

Learn more

Join the No Coal, No Gas Coalition

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For more ideas, email emma.weiss@350.org

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Petition

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FAQ

In just one hour, this coal plant emits as much carbon into the atmosphere as the average person emits in 26 years of their life. Carbon is a pollutant and contributes to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which propel climate change. The carbon levels in the atmosphere today are already past an amount deemed “safe.”

“Clean coal” comes from clean coal technologies aimed to capture carbon from the atmosphere. The reality is that even capturing some of the carbon is inadequate to mitigate all the pollution that comes from coal. It does nothing to negate the problems with mountaintop removal where entire ecosystems are destroyed in order to extract coal. “Clean coal” is a lie and misconception aimed to fool people into thinking it is good for the environment. It is not.

We are not members of the Union that represents the workers at the Merrimack Generating Station. When the plant sets a closing date, the union will know what is best for their workers and we will stand alongside them so they get the demands they ask for from the company.

Yes. In 2012, the plant got scrubbers to reduce their mercury and sulfur output. These scrubbers did nothing to negate the large amount of carbon this plant releasesinto the atmosphere.

No, New Hampshire does not frack gas or mine coal. Coal trains travel to NH yearly each carrying 10 thousand tons of coal. All our fossil fuels not only negatively impact our our state but hurt the communities that they were extracted from.

It is 2019 – we cannot afford to continue to burn coal if we are to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis. Here on the seacoast of New Hampshire, families and businesses are feeling the effects of the climate crisis experience flooding that continually gets worse  Across the world low income communities and communities of color feel the impacts of the climate crisis at a disproportionate rate. The owners of the plant are profiting off of the destruction of our land, air, and climate and we cannot continue business as usual.

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