Carl Lindner: We energies have to start immediately with the transition to clean, renewable energy pillar

The South Oak Creek coal-fired power plant shown in 2014 with a capacity of 1,230 megawatts.


By Carl Lindner | Professor Emeritus, UW-Parkside

Late last year, Gale Klappa, CEO of We Energies, with annual sales of $ 15 million, announced that the older coal-burning plant in Oak Creek would shut down in 2024. This decision is hardly a cause for celebration.

This plant should be shut down immediately. It is unnecessary. We Energies could save $ 75 million each year by getting that energy from the Midwestern grid. Another four years of poisoning our air and water, and what for? We energies, self-proclaimed “good neighbors”, should act like one.

Think about the dangers of coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels:

Coal is poisonous from start to finish. Coal dust alone is a major contributor to breathing problems like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and COPD. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to these health threats. Coal dust blows off the 120-140 wagons that make up the many delivery trains and affects everyone who lives near the tracks. Coal dust blowing from the coal mounds at the two Oak Creek plants is poisoning the air for residents and everyone who lives in southeastern Wisconsin. This is not an exaggeration as the tiniest particles of dust (2.5 microns) can be in the air within a 30 mile radius, an area that stretches from Milwaukee to Racine to South Kenosha. These fine dust particles are the most dangerous because they lodge in the lungs and cannot be expelled by coughing or sneezing.

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