The environmental justice chair for the Cleveland NAACP said the group’s recent comments in support of coal and nuclear power don’t reflect its positions “moving forward.”
The Cleveland chapter caught activists off guard in October when it filed comments in support of a federal proposal to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants in the name of grid reliability. “In order to mitigate the risk that such generating units may be deactivated prematurely, the Cleveland NAACP strongly urges FERC to adopt the rule proposed by DOE,” its Oct. 20 comments said, citing the jobs and economic opportunities provided by the power plants. The comments, submitted by the group’s economic development committee chair Danielle Sydnor, appear to contradict the national organization’s position against coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuel operations, which have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. Sydnor and branch President James Hardiman did not respond to interview requests. The group’s environmental justice chair, Kent Whitley, said he was not involved in preparing the comments, and that they don’t reflect his priorities.