WALNUT COVE — Former vice president Al Gore, who made climate change the focus of his post-political life, turned up the heat on Duke Energy Monday, calling the Belews Creek Steam Station a crime scene that has sickened people who live near the power plant.

Speaking from the boat ramp off Pine Hall Road in Stokes County against the backdrop of smokestacks from the steam station, Gore said Duke Energy has acted recklessly.

"Sometimes it's difficult to connect all the dots but when so many people in the same area suffer the same consequences, it's fair to say, 'Well, here at CSI Belews Lake, we know who the villain is," said Gore making a play on the name of a popular TV crime-scene investigation drama.

Gore was speaking as part of a tour in the state promoting ecological justice. It was organized by the Poor People's Campaign, which is co-chaired by Rev. William Barber II, the former president of the state's NAACP chapter.

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