Students Protest Use of Coal on 10 Campuses
Students at multiple campuses protested coal-generated energy at their universities on Wednesday as part of the Sierra Club's "Moving Campuses Beyond Coal" campaign. Student Sierra Club chapters at the University of California-LA, Oregon State, Indiana University, University of Minnesota, and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and five other campuses held the events.
"University campuses have been at the forefront of many of the most important movements in history," said Mallory Schillinger, a senior at the University of Missouri. "Global warming is where the fight is at, and the most crucial part of that fight—coal—is located right here on our campus."
Students at the UNC-Chapel Hill delivered information about changing the campuses energy policy to Ray DuBose, UNC's director of energy services. DuBose said that the university-owned coal-burning plant was looking to shift to biomass fuel.
According to Alan Scher Zagier of the Associated Press, "In recent years, several schools have opted to forego campus coal plants in response to student protests and regulatory scrutiny."
A 2007 Sierra Club lawsuit led the University of Wisconsin to embark on a $251 million project to convert its coil-boilers to burning paper pellets and woodchips. Northern Michigan University slashed coal from the plans for a new power plant when the EPA refused to issue an air permit, and Ball State University is transitioning its energy systems away from coal too.
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