With the Day of the Dead just around the corner, it’s the time of year to remember friends and family members who have died. That’s why we’ve decided to hold a demonstration at City Hall on Thursday at noon, wearing black, to recognize those who have died from complications related to living around the City of Austin’s coal plant.
Burning coal to create electricity has a high human cost. From childhood asthma to aggravated heart and respiratory problems, living downwind of a coal plant can take years off of your life. If you are a six year old or even a strapping adult with asthma and unlucky enough to live near a coal plant to boot, that is enough to send you to the emergency room on a regular basis. Individuals with heart conditions are in the same boat. And mercury emissions from the coal stacks that power our city find their way into waterways and are known to cause birth defects. A recently updated study by the Clean Air Task Force finds that our Fayette Coal Plant causes an average of fifty deaths each year.
City Council must take these considerations into account when planning our future energy mix. Why should others in the state of Texas die or live with crippling health problems when cleaner alternatives exist?
So come to City Hall at noon on Tuesday to show City Council your support for a clean energy plan that would phase out the coal plant as quickly as possible. Wear black in some way, and meet at 11:50 in the lobby so that we can coordinate. Parking at city hall is free on council meeting days. Please RSVP or contact Ryan Rittenhouse at 512-477-1155 with any questions.
Please also spread the word to similarly concerned friends and invite them to the “Austin has a dirty secret” facebook group so that they can be in the loop for future events or demonstrations.