Here’s the press release. I dropped by the event Thursday night and chatted with a few folks. What I like most is that these are business leaders walking the talk. They’re coming together and really showing that they, and by extension their customers, don’t have to settle for an outdated, detrimental approach to energy production. I’ve felt that for a long time, city leaders have done little more than pay lip service to the environmental stewardship issue. But things are changing. It takes a persistent, coordinated effort, such as Asheville Beyond Coal, it takes passionate people hounding political leadership and spending their money differently, and it takes business leaders like these folks to step up.
Eighty businesses across the greater Asheville area have signed a joint letter to Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good demanding retirement of the city’s coal-fired power plant, and several of the business owners gathered to mark the signing at an Asheville Beyond Coal reception Thursday evening.
Along with calling for a transition away from coal, the letter calls for increased investment in a clean energy future for “the health of our local economy, our community, and our planet.”
Among the signers are well-known local businesses, including Cúrate, Blue Ridge Biofuels, the Asheville Grown Business Alliance, Katuah Market, Black Mountain Yoga, Blue Moon Water and Sundance Power Systems. Many of these businesses have incorporated best practices for sustainability into their business model.
“This is a wakeup call to Duke Energy from small business owners, who are the heart and soul of Asheville’s economy” said Dayna Reggero of Accelerating Appalachia, a local business accelerator based in Asheville.
“Burning coal is a dirty, polluting form of generating electricity that is harmful to our air, water and health, and using it to power our city doesn’t match with our community’s values of healthy living,” said Medea Galligan, owner of Medea’s Espresso and Juice Bar, which is located in the vicinity of the power plant. “We are on a path to become a green city, but the coal plant here is the largest source of climate-disrupting carbon pollution in Western North Carolina. I would like to see our community powered by clean energy instead.”
Duke Energy’s Asheville-area coal plant is the largest source of climate-disrupting carbon pollution in Western North Carolina. Years of data confirm that toxic pollution is leaking from its coal ash pits into both the river and groundwater. This plant is the the largest industrial source of air pollution in Western North Carolina as well.
In October 2013, the Asheville City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on Duke Energy to responsibly retire the coal plant and transition to cleaner forms of energy.
The Asheville Beyond Coal reception for the businesses included a special cocktail menu at Sovereign Remedies in downtown Asheville. Drinks crafted especially for the evening — with names like “Hazy Day,” “Duke’s Up” and a “Coal Ash Martini” — were on tap for the event.
The list of businesses:
Aiyana Holistic Healing & Massage
Altamont Brewing Company
American Folk Art and Framing
Asheville Glass Center
Asheville Grown Business Alliance
Asheville Yoga Center
Black Mountain Yarn Shop
Black Mountain Yoga
Blue Moon Water
Blue Ridge BioFuels
BZ Design and Cloth Fiber Workshop
Charlotte Street Computers
Climbmax Sport Climbing Center
Coconut Organics/ The Coconut Co
Dry Ridge Moving
Early Girl Eatery
Fired Up! Pottery
Firestorm Cafe & Books
French Broad Brewing Company
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Gingko Tree Gallery
Green Bee Cleaning Co.
Head To Toe
Heirloom Hospitality Group
High Five Coffee
Is Was + Will Be
Izzy’s Coffee Den
Jack of the Wood
Jerusalem Garden Cafe
Krull and Co
Laughing Seed Café
Medea’s Espresso & Juice Bar
New Age Garden Center
Patton Ave Pets
Rise ‘N Shine Café
Saffron Fine Foods
Smiling Hara Tempeh
Sundance Power Systems
The Antique Tobacco Barn
The Bender Gallery
West Asheville Yoga
West End Bakery
Willow Creek Nursery
Willow’s Dream Salon
In response to all the knee-jerk reactions on here, If you read the above press release, apparently City council made the same call, unanimously, for Duke to shut this plant down, which is telling.
I think this is about more than just wanting to shut down the plant just because it’s coal. It’s about accountability for a particularly nasty pollution source. To keep it running, I think it can be argued, is pure negligence.
A city has to fight a power company to get a healthy power source, otherwise Duke will just $##* all over us while providing us power. It’s tricky and its very political.
did ya see the weekend headline and link to the AC-T article on CarolinaPlottHound dot com ?
‘How can you tell when the ENVIROS’ are LYING?’ …
when their lips are moving, of course! these people are so over the top of reality…WNC Alliance cred just shot all to hell…
What about the paper mill in Canton? THE MAJOR polluter of air and water in NC and Tennessee. Why is this plant never a target? Because of the high paying jobs. Face it. Everyone including regulators look the other way. Are we standing for the environment or not? How many businesses would sign for closing that plant?
I propose we boycott Duke Energy. Let’s stop using electricity generated by the Asheville coal plant, effective January 1st. Who’s with me? C’mon let’s take a stand and show them who’s Boss!
Not everyone runs on Solar or Water. If we shut it down, you will put MANY people out of work, people WILL lose power, etc. etc. etc.!!! There are other ALTERNATIVES to allieviate the coal waste.
What are they going to replace it with? Hippies on bicycle generators?
It’s still just all talk. They want the power plant shut down, but have no concrete plan about how to do it, or what to replace it with besides a generic “cleaner energy.”
By “walking the talk” do you mean that these businesses have already disconnected from Duke Energy and are now totally relying on other means of energy?
If so, awesome. If not, then what do you mean?
I am pretty positive that most of these business use Duke still. As much as I am against Duke, the people here need to come up with the solution. Writing a letter saying “We don’t like how you create energy” without any solution is lazy in my opinion. They should hire some energy specialist, or whatever they are called, and offer up cost effect solutions to Duke.
A noble cause, for sure, but I’d love to hear what’s replacing coal’s energy, where that source is located, who owns it and what it costs us residents.
Also, Duke Energy’s Asheville-area coal plant may be “the largest source of climate-disrupting carbon pollution in Western North Carolina,” but folks should know it is not what causes pollution here in our valley. If you want clear views of the mountains here, you must talk to Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio, whose pollution ends up here as the jet stream dips south.