Monday, March 2, 2009

Thousands gather at Capitol Power Plant for coal protest

Environmental protesters have gathered at the Capitol Power Plant in Washington DC to demonstrate against the use of coal-fired power stations.

An estimated 2,500 demonstrators, from groups including Greenpeace, are blocking entrances to the power station - as of this moment, all of the five gates are occupied.

Demonstrators targeted the 99-year-old Capitol Power Plant for the rally because of its symbolic nature and proximity to the political heart of the US. Around 49 per cent of the fuel burned at the plant is coal. It does not provide electricity, but supplies the Capitol with steam and cold water. In 2002, the Capitol Power Plant was the second largest source of carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide in Washington.

The protesters hope to raise awareness of problems with coal, and promote legislation to reduce greenhouse gases.

A small number of counter-protesters are in attendance at the demonstration.

Today's events follow recent talks between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Barack Obama to increase investment in "clean coal" development.

Follow the protest live on Twitter here.

Live video streaming here.

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