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Yvonne Besyk: Close Elm Road coal plant

Yvonne Besyk: Close Elm Road coal plant

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So happy for the residents of Portage County! Alliant Energy is closing its 1100MW Columbia coal plant, saving money and eliminating pollutants. Wouldn’t it be great if we could say the same for residents near We Energies 1400MW Elm Road plant in Oak Creek?

According to a Sierra Club press release, retiring Columbia will avoid 53 million pounds of pollution that causes asthma and heart attacks, lung disease, bronchitis and premature mortality (death), and 7 million tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to emissions from 1.4 million cars. I wonder, since Elm Road generates 25% more energy than the Columbia plant, how much more pollution does it produce every year?

Certainly there is more We Energies can do to save money and reduce pollution in southeast Wisconsin. A recent report graded utilities on actions needed to avert a climate crisis. The grade considered three things; plans to retire coal, no new gas plant construction and aggressive addition of clean energy by 2030. We received a “D”.

My hope is that We makes plans to improve their “green grade” by shutting down the Elm Road generating station and adding more solar, wind and battery power. How nice it would be to see smoke stacks eliminated from the southeast Wisconsin landscapes?

Yvonne Besyk, Salem

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