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Thursday, 05 April 2018 14:12

Students urge university to transition to renewable energy

Written by  Staff Writer

To the editor,
On March 5, residents of Oak Creek woke up to black dust covering their homes, cars and the neighborhood playground. Many already knew that the culprit was the coal-fired power plant less than a mile south.

Three days later, independent testing done by Aspen Consulting confirmed this assumption. The Oak Creek Power Plant, co-owned by We Energies, Madison Gas & Electric and WPPI, has showered surrounding neighborhoods with toxic coal dust, and it isn’t the first time. Another report was released March 26 stating that for the second time in March, coal dust was found yet again covering homes, cars and the same playground just north of the power plant.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater purchases its energy from We Energies. The dirty energy we use is impacting the people of Oak Creek, as well as contributing to the global climate crisis. We as a university have an opportunity to be a leader in our society’s transition to an economy free of fossil fuels. We can choose to transition to just, localized and clean energy, providing job opportunities and better health to our peers.

Students at UW-Whitewater are working on a nationwide campaign called Seize the Grid and already have obtained 500 signatures in support of the goal for our campus to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. We urge our administration to sign on to carbon neutrality commitments; to start this conversation on campus and actively work toward a reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions.

As students representing ourselves and future generations, we want to see UW-Whitewater tackle the challenges of our fossil fuel dependence head-on. To get involved, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Jonathan Roberts, co-president
Students Allied for a Green Earth (SAGE)Whitewater

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