The PUC staff issued a report in June that suggested PSNH get rid of the coal-fired plants in Bow and Portsmouth because they are creating a cost structure that the regulated utility cannot sustain in the wake of low natural gas prices.
The regulated utility argues that revenue from the coal-fired plants helped keep energy supply prices below market in New Hampshire in the past, and will do so again if natural gas prices go back up. The coal-fired plants have been called on to feed energy into the New England grid during recent days of high demand, due to the extreme heat.
On Sunday, July 28, 2013, five members of 350NH traveled to Somerset, Massachusetts to participate in the action to Shut Down Brayton Point coal plant. About 400 people attended the action from all over New England including Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
The day started out cool and cloudy which obscured the tops of anything taller than a tree but as the day progressed, the morning fog burned off and the stark reality of what we’re against came into full view.
The crowd was greeted by the band Melodeego, followed by then inspirational speakers such as Paula of Mountain Keepers, the daughter of coalminers, who told the heartbreaking story of how “‘coal killed my grandfather, my father, and my brothers. Now they’re asking for my sons.'”-Paula (tweeted by Pragmactivis99). Other speakers explained how this is the time for the US to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
After rallying the crowd, the march to Brayton Point began. With cooperation from the police, and from the clouds which parted but allowed the ambient temperature and humidity to rise significantly, we walked on the sidewalk for about a 1/2 mile to the coal fired plant.
Once at the plant, the crowd gathered, sang songs, and watched as 44 red-shirted activists were voluntarily arrested, including members of the group Mothers Out Front.
Due to the excellent preparations and organization by Better Future Project and 350MA the day went without a hitch. The police cooperated with protesters. One officer was seen laughing with the two women his grandmother’s age whom he arrested. The day was peaceful and nonviolent, the way we like our protests!
This video features Michelle of 350NH talking about the little league field which abuts the power plant and what that means to the kids playing ball there.
350NH is hosting its own anti-coal event called Climate Rally for a Coal Free New Hampshire on Saturday, August 10, 2013 from 10a-1p in Market Square, Portsmouth. Join us as we educate the public about the high cost of coal, sign a petition against coal power, listen to music, and catch some street theater!