Canary Coalition reaches membership milestone in 2006

Canary Coalition, a regional air quality advocacy group based in Sylva, recently reached the 1,000 mark in members, showing a growth of 25 percent in 2006.


“The only conclusion we can reach from this is that public interest and involvement is increasing and our efforts are paying off,” said Avram Freidman, Canary Coalition executive director.

The Canary Coalition recently adopted its legislative and policy goals for the year. One of the top goals is to fight the proposed construction of new power plants that use traditional generation methods in lieu of alternative energy and energy conservation.

“The power industry intends to build a new generation, hundreds of new nuclear, coal and fossil fuel-burning power plants, projecting growth in energy demand based on the assumption that Americans will continue to use energy at the same or greater per capita levels as in the past,” Freidman said. “The Canary Coalition sees a different model for meeting future energy demand that recognizes the health and environmental imperatives. This model involves dramatically lower future per capita energy use and the employment of safe, reliable, renewable resources to produce the energy we’ll need.”

Duke Energy has proposed a new coal plant near Hickory, while Progress has proposed a new natural gas plant in Asheville. Both must be approved by the state utility commissioner before construction permits are granted.

“There is no need to build and operate additional conventional polluting power plants,” Freidman said. “The vast investment required to build these plants can be used much more effectively and to the economic benefit of everybody by being directed instead toward investment in efficient equipment, energy education and renewable technology research, development and marketing.”

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