Huge Protest at 14th and H St, NW

“Dear PoP,

They just walked past our building at 14th and H St. NW [around 12pm]. They are heading down H Street towards Chinatown. Signs read – “POWERSHIFT. CORPORATIONS OUT OF DEMOCRACY.” “1%.” They have some paper mache people with signs that read “Exxon” and “Chevron” and “Coal is over.”

14 Comment

  • Ha ha. I’m the tiny spectator at the very bottom side of that photo.

  • Go young people. I believe in PowerShifting the energy too. Good for you. Old people, or the governing, get on board or get out of the way. Coal is over. Wind, solar, unplugging, bigger windows, cohabitating, all of it…

    Yay Protesters.

  • I second what the protestors are doing. We need to fix the Citizens United ruling. It’s a tragedy that big corporations can exert so much influence into supposed the peoples elections.

  • It’s a cite for my claim that around 50% of US baseload is served by coal, i.e. as of 2009, 18,300 mmbtu out of 39,000 mmbtu total electric generation comes from coal. And that 50% can’t be eliminated wholesale by simply switching over to renewable resources, which presently provide only 4,200 mmbtu, over two-thirds of which come from hydropower (and we don’t have any more suitable rivers to dam).

    Coal is definitely being slowly reduced as a share of overall baseload. It’s essentially impossible to build a new coal plant or expand an existing one under current EPA source rules. Old coal plants are being retired in favor of natural gas. Biotherm and wind resources are providing more variable load service, particularly in the western US. But to say that coal is somehow “over” is just ignorant. So long as coal remains cheap and domestic (and Pennsylvania and West Virginia still have senators) it will continue to play a part in the US generation portfolio for many years to come.

    But these protests have always been more about fighting the cops and smashing windows than any kind of rigorous energy policy analysis.

    • So what you’re saying is, “coal is over.”

      • It’s perfectly possible that in 50-100 years, coal will represent a much smaller percentage of total US electricity production, in favor of some combo of natural gas, nuclear, and renewable resources. Although over that timeline, you start to have issues with exhausting proven domestic natural gas reserves. Near term though, coal will continue to represent a fair portion of US electric power. Those two terawatts have to come from somewhere, and no combination of alternative sources can provide it.

    • “these protests have always been more about fighting the cops and smashing windows than any kind of rigorous energy policy analysis.” This is a ridiculous statement and is insulting to young people. I did not take part in this protest but I did see it and it was peaceful and non-violent with no clashes with police or any smashing of windows. The protesters in this picture were part of 10,000 youth from all over the country participating in a conference on clean energy. They were here learning about issues and learning how to advocate for what they believe in. Frankly, its nice to see 10,000 young people engaged and taking to the streets. Some of the most transformative movements were lead by the courage of our nation’s youth…

  • Hmm. You know a lot. Maybe you should work on how to help move this changeover along.

    That’s my polite (non-disruptive, non-violent clearly communicated) request. Thank you for your work in advance!

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