Climate protesters surround Capitol coal plant

Original source: A nonviolent protest underway in Washington aims to shut down the U.S. Capitol's own coal-fired power plant to demand federal action on the deepening climate crisis.

Despite snowy weather, a crowd estimated at more than 2,000 people gathered to march on the plant. The protest is still underway, but word from the scene is that contingents have already broken away from the main march to occupy every gate at the plant, which supplies the Capitol complex with steam and cooled water.

Among those who were planning to get arrested in today's action is noted Kentucky writer and poet Wendell Berry, who helped convene today's nonviolent civil disobedience with environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben.

capitol_climate_protest.jpgCoal represents about half of the fuel burned by the Capitol plant, which releases about 60,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year and other toxic pollution. There have been proposals to have the plant burn cleaner fuel, but those have been blocked by powerful coal state senators include Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Robert Byrd (D-W.V.).

Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) has called the plant the 'armpit of the Capitol.'