Environmental activists gathered in Gulfport today to protest of what they call dirty power. Members of several local action groups helped launch the "Clean Up Southern Company" campaign. The campaign aims to get Southern Company, which is.the parent company of Mississippi Power, to produce cleaner power. Environmentalists say older coal burning plants like Jack Watson plant on Lorraine Road release pollutants that threaten public health.
Jim Dawson, a campaign organizer said "We just hope to raise awareness and to let people know that dirty power isn't cheap and that the Southern Company needs to become a clean energy leader instead of a clean energy obstacle."
Mississippi Power officials say there is a high demand for energy, and coal helps supply 67 percent of the nations power. They also say the company operates according to state and federal emission standards.
"The emissions from coal fired power plants are governed by the federal government as well as state governments " said Kurt Brautigam of Mississippi Power. "Here at Mississippi Power as well as throughout the Southern Company we comply with every federal and state regulation that we're under."
Brautigam says the company's employees live and work in this area and certainly wouldn't do anything that we were aware of to harm our environment.Supporters of the Clean Up Southern Company campaign also held rallies in seven other cities.