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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Students, faculty urging state to stop burning coal on campus heating plants

From a story by Martha Boehm on WEAU-TV, Eau Claire:

LA CROSSE, WI (WEAU)--Some students at UW-La Crosse want the state-run heating plant, that’s been on campus for decades, to stop burning coal. The No Coal Coalition wants the state to consider other fuel options.

“It may take a while, but what we really want is a definitive statement from them for a day and a year that they will be able to transfer our campuses off of coal," said UW-La Crosse senior Jennifer Dausey.

Dausey has been working with the No Coal Coalition and Environmental Council for about a year. About a dozen students and faculty members want the Wisconsin Department of Administration, which owns the heating plant at UW-L, to stop burning coal to heat campus buildings.

"We always say that we should have been off coal yesterday," Dausey said. "There’s no reason we need to keep burning this dirty energy. It’s not only destroying families in the mining process, but it’s also destroying our health and our lungs. It causes so much asthma it’s ridiculous.”

Dausey says the coalition not only wants the plant to stop using coal, but to cut back on its natural gas emission, which is the second way it produces energy.

“It’d be easiest to switch to burning biomass, which is like wood pellets and it’s going to become a bigger economy here in Wisconsin with our natural resources," Dausey said.

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