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Casting a "New Light" at Virginia's "Shad Planking"

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April 14, 2008

Wakefield, VA - Some "bright" new ideas on energy policy will enlighten the annual "shad planking" in Wakefield this week. Shad planking is a fish-smoking cooking technique, but over the past 60 years, the phrase has become synonymous with politicking and campaign signage galore, as a result of this annual Virginia event. The state's politicos of all stripes and ranks are expected to gather to express their candidate preferences and discuss election issues.

Key among them is energy policy, and Glen Besa of the Sierra Club says his group will be shining new light on the subject -- literally.

"We'll be handing out compact fluorescent light bulbs as a symbol of the new technology that's out there. We'll be talking to folks about clean energy and why it's important to Virginia; about the need to not build any new coal plants, like the Dominion coal-fired power plant in southwestern Virginia; and we hope to make a lot of progress."

Global warming continues to stir up debate; some believe it isn't real, and doubt that new, clean-energy technologies will be sufficient to replace our dependence on fossil fuels. Others insist there's no oil or coal crisis yet. As Besa puts it, that's not a reason to do nothing and wait for one.

"They didn't end the Stone Age because they ran out of stones, and we're not going to end the fossil fuel age because we run out of fossil fuel. We're going to end it because we and our new leaders recognize that global warming is a serious threat to the environment, and that our dependence on foreign sources of fossil fuels is making us less secure."

The Virginia Sierra Club is part of a nine-state "Power2Change" campaign aimed at moving political leaders to adopt renewable energy policies to help reduce global warming.

John Robinson/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - VA