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WVU Students Actively Pursue Global Warming Solutions
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by Christie Hartman, WVU SSC | 2008

WV and Ohio students join to protest a proposed coal-fired powerplant that will put more Global Warming pollutants into the atmosphere!

Pollution does not stop at the state line. On February 10 West Virginia University students traveled to Columbus Ohio to unite with students to prevent the construction of another coal-fired power plant in Meigs County Ohio, across the border from Ravenswood, West Virginia.

Students Ali Gore, Ivan Stiefel, Jessica Domer and Christy Hartman from the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC) united with Ohio students from Ohio State University, Ohio University, Hiram College, Oberlin College, Denison University, Kenyon College, Upper Arlington High School and other area schools at the Ohio Area Student Environmental Summit to pressure American Municipal Power and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to take action to stop a large coal-fired power plant from being built.

Sunday afternoon 48 student representatives gathered at the homes of AMP President Marc Gerken, and Ohio EPA President Chris Korleski and presented them with letters from students and community members calling for an end to building plans for the coal-fired power plant in Meigs County and the rejection of a permit that would allow plans for the plant to continue.
Ohio and WV students protest a coal-fired powerplant in Ohio
Elisa Young, a seventh generation land owner and community voice for basic human rights such as clean air and safe drinking water lives in Meigs County. She works to defend Ohio against unwise development that hurts communities. She has no choice. She does the work because her and every one of her neighbors has some form of cancer or asthma. They cannot drink the water from their wells. There is so much air pollution that Ohio now ranks as the nation’s number one polluter for some toxic chemicals.

The proposed plant is one of three potential coal-fired power plants to be built within 15 miles of Elisa Young’s home, in addition to the 4 coal-fired power plants that already operate within this radius. The proposed plant by American Municipal Power, (AMP) would produce more than 3 times the normal amount of energy a plant produces, about 960 megawatts, and would provide electricity for urban areas, like Philadelphia.

American Municipal Power’s Ohio website says the plant is being “designed to include state-of-the-art emissions control equipment and processes.” The company is proposing the use of Powerspan ECO-SO2 technology. The equipment eliminates smog causing pollutants; however, it does nothing to address carbon dioxide emissions, the leading cause of global warming.

The proposed community for the plant is an area where jobs are scarce. Local support for the plant has been based on the hard reality that people need jobs. Jobs could be provided in the clean energy sector which would help our nation meet its energy appetite and provide the economic benefits people must have to survive. An example of a clean energy job would be a “green collar” worker building and maintain wind turbines.

Students can take action and lead the leaders to a just and healthy future. By supporting means of generating electricity, other than coal, people are refusing to accept that it is permissible for companies to hurt people so that others may have electricity.

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