Coal, O&M

Lobster boat blocks coal shipment to Brayton Point coal-fired plant

Two men in a 32-foot wooden lobster boat named the Henry David T. blockaded a shipment of coal to a Massachusetts power plant Wednesday as a protest against coal-fired power generation.

The two men, Jay O’Hara and Ken Ward, anchored the boat in the path of a freighter delivering coal to the Brayton Point power plant Wednesday, blocking the path allowing for offloading. According to the Boston Globe, the shipment was unloaded Wednesday evening.

Although the Coast Guard boarded the ship around noon for a safety inspection, the boat was not moved until about 6:30 p.m. because of a stuck anchor, the Globe reported. The two men were not arrested, a coast guard spokesperson told the Globe.

Brayton Point is currently owned by Dominion (NYSE: D), but the company has entered an agreement to sell the station to Energy Capital Partners. The sale is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.

According to coalisstupid.org, a website operated by the two men, Ward “contacted the authorities to inform them that they were engaged in non-violent civil disobedience” before blockading the shipment. The website also includes a button to donate to the campaign as well as a message encouraging visitors to contribute to the men’s bail fund.

Environmental groups 350 New Jersey and 350 Massachusetts also sent to executives from Dominion and Energy Capital Partners calling to stop the sale of the plant and close it instead. Although the letter did not mention the blockade, a photo on O’Hara’s and Ward’s website shows the men on the lobster boat with banners reading “350” and “#coalisstupid,” a tag used on Twitter to mark tweets about the blockade.

A spokesperson for the plant told the Globe that Brayton Point is “one of the cleanest electricity generators of its kind” and that more than $1 billion has been invested in improvements designed to reduce the plant’s environmental impact over the past several years.