Coal protesters tie selves to generator in SC

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COLUMBIA, S.C. - Protesters against coal power attached themselves Monday to a nearly 1 million pound generator part bound for North Carolina for more than an hour before deputies were able to remove them.

Duke Energy said the protest in a South Carolina parking lot shouldn't slow the three-month trip to move the equipment, called a stator, from a port in the southern part of the state to a power generating plant under construction near Cliffside, N.C.

The part had been parked in a lot near Greenville for about a week when four protesters scaled a fence around 8:45 a.m. Monday and climbed to the top of the massive piece of equipment and refused to get down, Greenville County Master Deputy Melissia McKinney said.

The protesters unfurled a banner that said "Stop Cliffside" before two of them were arrested, said Attila Nemecz, spokesman for Asheville Rising Tide, which staged the protest.

Two more were able to lock their arms and sleeves through parts of the machine and stayed on top of it for more than an hour before deputies cut them away and arrested them, Nemecz said.

Rachel Scarano, 21; Catherine MacDougal, 22; Julia Page, 20; and Paul Loomis, 21, were all charged with disorderly conduct, deputies said. They face up to 30 days in jail or a $100 fine if convicted of the misdemeanor.

This isn't the first time the group has protested the new power plant. Several dozen members of Asheville Rising Tide were arrested after an April rally in Charlotte, N.C., Nemecz said.

Members have tried to halt the plant through government action, but had no success, Nemecz said.

"We're tired of waiting. We're going to take serious enough action to stop construction of this global-warming, pollution-causing death machine," Nemecz said.

The protest happened just off U.S. 25 a few miles south of Interstate 85 near Greenville. Duke Energy left the part there for about a week as they finalized its slow trip through one of South Carolina's most populated areas. The journey should start again Monday night, with the part arriving at the plant not far from Boiling Springs, N.C., in mid-December, utility spokesman Andy Thompson said.

"It's just unfortunate the protesters decided to protest in this form," Thompson said. "Certainly, everybody has an opinion and the right to express their opinion. But I think there are much better ways to get a point across as opposed to crossing over private property."

The equipment's trip across South Carolina has been a two-month show. In many small communities, people have sat in their yards on lawn chairs for hours to watch as two trucks pull the trailers carrying the part, which is as long as a football field. Two more trucks push the load, which all together weighs nearly 2 million pounds and can't travel much faster than 15 mph. Crews have raised power lines all along the route, and transportation officials say it is the largest load to ever move across South Carolina.

Thompson said this is the first protest he has heard about as the caravan slowly creeps along.

"It's been very positive," Thompson said. "I think the public - everyday people who have seen it realize it's kind of an interesting spectacle."

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gaspringwater
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gaspringwater 12/01/09 - 07:04 am
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Way To Go Protesters! Our

Way To Go Protesters! Our country needs more people concerned for life on earth and what we're doing to our world. Keep up the good work! Its time for academia to get spirited and act for a better world. Young students have a long life ahead of them and they'll be the ones most affected by climate change. The old geezers building coal fired plants and fouling the planet will be dead and it won't matter to them.

egan01
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egan01 12/01/09 - 10:08 am
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Another enviromentalist who

Another enviromentalist who thinks you can generate enough power with wind to supply our needs. These same people think cell towers are ugly, give us a break.

gaspringwater
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gaspringwater 12/01/09 - 10:45 am
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egan01 - I'm not sure about

egan01 - I'm not sure about supplying ALL of our needs from wind but perhaps you can benefit from being a little better informed:
http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/11/24/met_556841.shtml?cpage=l...

APiratesLife4Me
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APiratesLife4Me 12/01/09 - 11:44 am
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Should have left them tied up

Should have left them tied up for the duration of the trip. Gets quite cold up in dem der hills at night. Look at the ages of the protesters... Misguided souls who never excelled in anything at school...have to make it up like this. News flash...Your future employer will see your arrest record for something stupid.

gnx
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gnx 12/01/09 - 04:58 pm
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Wind energy sounds really

Wind energy sounds really good in theory, but in practice it's another story entirely. To be even better informed: http://www.mensetmanus.net/windpower/cato/probwind.shtml http://library.thinkquest.org/26366/text/alternative/wind.html and http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2009/05/15/the-trouble-with-wind-energy/ are just a few pages to start with. It needs to be understood that each alternative energy source presents its own unique set of problems, and may not always be a clear answer to current technologies.

KSL
122017
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KSL 12/01/09 - 08:23 pm
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gnx, do you think gasp can

gnx, do you think gasp can grasp?

corgimom
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corgimom 12/01/09 - 08:41 pm
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Look at the ages of the

Look at the ages of the people arrested. Dumbakk kids, every one of them. Hey, gas, turned off your electricity yet, since you are so concerned about energy? What a hypocrite.

gaspringwater
3
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gaspringwater 12/01/09 - 08:45 pm
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gnx - Thank you for a link to

gnx - Thank you for a link to a right wing political think tank. Is that where you get your technical information? If you don't think that's politically tainted then I know you're a Fox News ( wink-wink ) man. Looks like you and KSL are on the same wave length.

KSL
122017
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KSL 12/01/09 - 08:52 pm
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And YOUR sources have no bias

And YOUR sources have no bias whatsoever, huh, gasp? You have got to be kidding.

gaspringwater
3
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gaspringwater 12/01/09 - 08:54 pm
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corgimom - I am concerned

corgimom - I am concerned about energy and I pay Georgia Power the price for green energy. Are you concerned enough for the environment to pay for green energy? Or maybe you're just a frugal Mon and too cheap to pay the higher price. So let me encourage you to contact Georgia Power and sign up too! Do something other than yak.

KSL
122017
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KSL 12/01/09 - 09:01 pm
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Makes you feel good, gasp,

Makes you feel good, gasp, doesn't it.

KSL
122017
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KSL 12/01/09 - 09:03 pm
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Corgi is not a customer of

Corgi is not a customer of Georgia Power, gasp.

corgimom
28199
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corgimom 12/01/09 - 09:55 pm
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Help me out here, what in the

Help me out here, what in the hell is a "frugal Mon", and honey, I guarantee you that my income is way, way, way higher than yours. I'm waiting for you to install solar heating in your house, and a wind turbine in your back yard. Any plans for that? And you sure don't mind using coal and nuclear generated electricity, do you? You are a hypocrite.

KSL
122017
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KSL 12/01/09 - 10:43 pm
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gasp can't connect all of the

gasp can't connect all of the dots. He has no understanding that the best place for wind mills in the US has no transmission lines. Another small expense plus having to deal with the nimbys.

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