Last weekend more than 12,000 people flocked to Washington, D.C., for a three-day demonstration to demand the creation of green jobs, cuts in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels. More than 4,000 lobbyists visited nearly every congressional office on Capitol Hill, and nearly 2,500 protestors gathered in front of the Capitol Power Plant, which burns coal to heat congressional offices.
This mobilization, one of the largest in history, shows that the Americans are taking interest in their environment and energy sources—in a big way.
Americans want clean energy now. Photo from Natural Home archives.
Coal plants were a major focus of the protestors and lobbyists. Despite claims of “clean coal,” coal-burning power plants, which produce about half of U.S. electricity needs, emit carbon dioxide. (Check out the May/June issue of Natural Home, on newsstands April 14, for more on that.) After the December coal spill at the Tennessee Valley Authority power plant, coal is under even greater scrutiny these days.
The fossil-fuel industry certainly won’t go down without a fight. Various companies are hiring their own lobbyists and pledging millions of dollars to counteract legislation from green advocates. Yet some legislators are starting to take heed. Four days before the protest, several congressional leaders called for the end of the coal-burning Capitol Power Plant.
We truly are on the verge of an energy revolution—and you can be a part of it. Our guide to alternative energy breaks down the pros, cons, costs and ideal conditions for various sources of alternative energy. Whether you start small with a few solar lights for your garden or go large with a geothermal system, you can be a part of it.