03/29/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Representatives Try To Outmaneuver Impending Coal Protest

Several thousand people are expected to gather on Monday for a massive protest at the coal-fired plant that provides power to the U.S. Capitol. Organizers from Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Rainforest Action Network, and Greenpeace anticipate that it will be the largest display of civil disobedience against global warming in United States history.

Today, however, it appears that Congressional leaders have preempted them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to the Acting Architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, on Thursday asking that the Capitol Power Plant (CPP) switch to 100 percent natural gas for its operations.

"While the costs associated with purchasing additional natural gas will certainly be higher, the investment will far outweigh its cost," they wrote. "The switch to natural gas will allow the CPP to dramatically reduce carbon and criteria pollutant emissions, eliminating more than 95 percent of sulfur oxides and at least 50 percent of carbon monoxide."

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