October 20, 2009
Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102
Dirty, Part III: Sierra Club Releases Third Coal Ad
Washington, DC: The Sierra Club and the Sierra Student Coalition today released the third in a series of online video ads. Targeting college students the ads are the latest development in a heating debate about clean energy on campuses. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has been actively pushing coal on campuses around the country and now students are pushing back.
Playing on stereotypically "dirty" college behavior, the ads are part of a nationwide campaign to kick coal off campuses and replace them with clean energy solutions. While college life allows for some leniency in the socially acceptable, students at campuses across the country are speaking out to make it clear that coal still crosses the line.
Watch all three "dirty" videos here.
"While I don’t know any students who are actually rolling in kiddy pools of coal, there are places where parts of campus are literally covered with coal dust or soot," said Kim Teplitzky, National Field Coordinator for the Sierra Student Coalition. "Behind the humor is a serious problem that needs to be addressed and it will take more than just nice words from the coal industry to make that happen."
A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found $62 billion a year in “hidden” costs—damages to public health and the environment-- caused by coal. Damages from soot and other air pollution amounted to an average of $156 million per coal plant.
More than 60 campuses nationwide have coal plants on campus, and far more than that rely on coal generated electricity from the grid. Often serving as some of the largest employers and economic movers within communities, universities can affect change far outside the campus confines. The kind of large-scale change needed to successfully fight global warming can realistically start on campuses nationwide.
"Governors, state and federal officials are not the only ones who have the power to change how our communities are powered," said Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. "Though they should be paying serious attention to these students; these are very engaged young people who care about clean energy and by all expectations will vote accordingly when the time comes."
The ad campaign will run through October, ending with a print ad which will run in college newspapers next week. The work to make campuses coal-free will continue. Check back here for future campaign updates: www.sierraclub.org/coal/campus