MANCHESTER NH – On Saturday February 13th, a group of youth organizers from 350NH, a local climate justice organization, staged an art installation outside a Liberty Utilities facility. This action was in solidarity with the No Coal No Gas campaign, a grassroots coalition working to end the use of fossil fuels in New England and transition to 100% renewable energy, beginning by securing a shut down date for coal-fired coal-fired Merrimack Generating Station in Bow, NH.
The organizers painted and hung posters and banners on the chain link fence outside the office. Their messages included, “It’s time for diNOsaur fossil fuels to go extinct, and, “tell the ISO it’s time for coal to go extinct.” ISO is shorthand for Independent Systems Operator of New England, the entity that manages the region’s electricity grid. The group also made cardboard dinosaurs to illustrate the concept that “dinosaur” fossil fuels are antiquated and dangerous.
One of the organizers, Olivia Kreps, a senior at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy and Social Media Lead and Youth Fellow with 350NH, was motivated to participate in this action because she “will be moving on into the world and [she does not] want that world to be one where we still use coal.”
This action comes a week after thirty activists from the No Coal No Gas campaign gathered at the ISO-New England headquarters in Holyoke, MA. The activists delivered a letter accompanied by two wheelbarrows full of coal, and demanded the regional grid operator cease funding for coal and other fossil fuels. The next day, ISO-NE held its annual forward capacity auction to determine how much funding fossil fuel plants like Merrimack Generating Station will receive to stay operable through 2025.
As one of the youth activists at this Saturday’s protest, Jordan King, a senior at Milford High School and member of the 350NH Youth Team, stated, “Because I’m a young person, my future is on the line and I don’t want to be the next thing to go extinct.”
The group hopes to gain visibility for and bring more people into the No Coal No Gas campaign. Further, they aim to draw attention to an upcoming period from public comment on the ISO-NE auction results expected to take place between late February and April.
[Photo: From left to right: Jordan King, Oliva Kreps, and Jake Vogler]