Yesterday afternoon, after a six-day, sixty-six mile march, over 200 people rallied on the Hyannis Green in support of building Cape Wind, the nation’s first offshore wind farm. The rally came at the conclusion of the “Energy Exodus” march which began on August 28th at the Brayton Point coal and gas plant.
Brayton Point worst of "the Dirty Dozen" polluters in the region
"Brayton Point Coal Plant is worthy of this (Dirty Dozen) award," said David Dionne of the Coalition for Clean Air South Coast.
"Not only is Brayton Point the biggest polluter for all of New England, but its failing business model and commitment to uneconomic and obsolete coal-burning is a liability for our health and our economy. Coal is on its way out and we need to help Somerset plan ahead for a transition beyond coal."
Things go better with(out) Koch
At the rally in Hyannis, speakers targeted oil billionaire Bill Koch, who owns a vacation home in Osterville, for spending over $1.5 million to fund efforts to impede the construction of Cape Wind since the project’s proposal in a dozen year ago.
The protestors called on the Town of Barnstable to end their most recent lawsuits against the wind farm project and stop taking money from Koch, who has financed the Town’s litigation to delay or stop the construction of Cape Wind.
A landmark achievement for America and Cape Cod
“Cape Wind will be a landmark achievement for our country, bringing us closer to a clean energy economy, healthy communities, and a stable climate-- and creating one thousand jobs in the process,” said Ben Thompson, one of the Energy Exodus co-organizers. “The Town of Barnstable should recognize these facts, and stop acting as Bill Koch’s puppet.”
Organized by Better Future Project and Students for a Just and Stable Future, the marchers hoped that the Energy Exodus march would highlight the need to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources and build political momentum to speed up that transition.
“It has been beautiful to see people of all ages coming together to fight not only against our dependence on fossil fuels but for the solutions we know are possible,” said Emily Edgerly, a marcher with Students for a Just and Stable Future. “We no longer have the time to wait for our government to act, we have to get in the streets and demand the clean energy solutions we so desperately need.”
The march began on August 28th with a rally near the Brayton Point coal and gas plant, calling for Governor Patrick to close all coal plants in the state because of their dangerous climate and health impacts, replace them with renewable energy, and ensure a just transition for affected workers and communities.
In towns along the route, the marchers held events including a sustainable food feast, an educational panel on climate solutions, a rally for green jobs, and an awards ceremony for the Fairhaven Board of Selectmen who supported the Fairhaven wind turbines.
"There are 58 offshore wind projects in Europe and none in the United States," Varshini Prakash, a student organizer and staff member of the Better Future Project, said. "Cape Wind has received 17 federal and state permits. We are convinced that it needs to be built."
Read the recent stories about Bill Koch here.