Coal kills, demonstrators say

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Santa Claus was to speak today at the Utilities Board meeting about the negatives of burning coal in the city's power plans. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Santa Claus was to speak today at the Utilities Board meeting about the negatives of burning coal in the city's power plans.

A small band of protesters gathered outside the Plaza of the Rockies building today before the City Council met as Colorado Springs Utilities Board.

They carried signs saying:
• "We are better than this"
• "Heavy metals, breathe deep"
• "Coal kills"
• "Bad air hurts our lungs"
• and "Come clean, CSU"

They were protesting emissions from the downtown Drake Power Plant, which some argue don't meet air quality standards. CSU officials say that's not true.

Sam Masias, a long-time supporter of solar power who was dressed like Kris Kringle, said he planned to speak at the 1 p.m. Utilities Board meeting at which time he would give the Council a solar-powered Santa Claus and CEO Jerry Forte a bag of fake coal. It wasn't real coal, he said, "Because we're afraid he'll burn it."

Here's the group's call to action:
Please make your voices hear to City Council / the Utilities Board members to let them know you care about government transparency and our energy future!

Use your 3 minutes of public comment allotted to each of us to let them know that withholding air quality reports (that we, ratepayers paid for), and punishing the person who has been trying to seek public access to that information IS NOT OK! Let them know that:

We need full government transparency about our energy and air quality information.
They should not punish citizens who are simply trying to ensure access to air quality information.
We want more clean energy in our utility's portfolio, we don't want resources spent to ensure coal and fossil fuel energy sources continue to fuel our city when less polluting alternatives are available NOW! Our rates should be used for cleaner energy that will not poison our community, as the downtown Martin Drake Plant does!
To learn more, and if you haven't signed already, please see the Petition about this travesty of justice and abuse of government power.

Call Amy Gray with questions or for more details at 719-650-0259.

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