Community Members and Groups Mark Anniversary of Winter Storm Uri with Calls to Shut Down Coal Plant

Feb. 17, 2022

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Dozens gathered Wednesday night at a vigil outside of the CPS Energy Coal plant in San Antonio to remember the 246 lives lost during Winter storm Uri and to renew calls for the shutdown of the coal plant, which failed during the storm. The event was organized by the Recall CPS Energy Coalition. 

The organizers chose the Spruce Coal Plant, owned by CPS Energy, as their location for the vigil as the group believes it is a critical threat to our environment–continuously polluting the air and water of communities of color in San Antonio. 

“Coal plants emit particle pollution known as particulate matter,” said DeeDee Belmares, climate justice organizer of Public Citizen. “These almost invisible particles are so small they can easily enter our lungs and eventually the bloodstream causing shortness of breath, excessive coughing, and wheezing. The poison from these coal plants contributes to San Antonio’s tragic distinction as a Texas leader in child hospitalization from asthma, and it’s estimated to kill six people each year.”

Following the lighting of 246 candles to represent each life lost, those in attendance broke off into learning circles where they discussed CPS Energy’s rate structure, the spruce coal plant, and weatherizations program. 

The key demands made by organizers are that CPS Energy finally commits to rate transparency, and seeks alternative, equitable and accessible energy solutions that would make it possible to shut down the dangerous plant by 2030.


Recall CPS Energy is a coalition of local organizations and community groups mobilized to regain public control of San Antonio’s public energy utility. The organization includes Democratic Socialites of America, Move, Public Citizen, Southwest Workers Union, Sunrise SA, and Texas Freedom Network’s Texas Rising project.