LETTER: Energy panel at MU discusses alternatives to coal

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 | 5:43 p.m. CST

After attending Coal-Free Mizzou’s Clean Energy Panel on Feb. 10, it was great to hear environmental and energy experts discuss what the future may hold for MU’s energy use.

The panel laid out the importance of achieving this goal and what tools can be implemented. However, the term “thinning” of forests was discussed and I do not feel such practices would lead MU toward sustainability. Although biomass will be a significant contribution to reducing our coal usage, I hope that MU will invest in biomass from areas meant for such means.

In addition, confirmation from Steve Burdic that the university plans to eliminate coal usage completely, clarified for some audience members that planting trees will not be used to offset carbon emissions to reach carbon neutrality.

With the signing of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, MU must determine how to achieve carbon neutrality and confirm a date when the goal will be completed.

This is another exciting step in the right direction for MU and I hope that administration understands that we cannot wait 100 or even 50 years to be coal-free. With tools such as a power purchase agreement, MU could move faster than originally thought.



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