Wash U Hosts “The Great Coal Debate”

April 14, 2010

St. Louis is a good place to talk about coal. According to the US Energy Information Administration, 83.5% of the state’s energy comes from the black rock, making it one of the nation’s brownest states. St. Louis is home to the corporate headquarters of the two largest American coal extraction companies, Peabody Energy, and Arch Coal. Peabody Energy’s coal products fuel 10% of all U.S. electricity generation and 2% of worldwide electricity.

With the CEOs of both Peabody Energy and Arch Coal on Wash U’s board of trustees, as well as a heavily-funded coal energy research group, Washington University in St. Louis is a good place to talk about coal as well.

To continue campus dialogue on the role of coal in our future, Student Union will be hosting a debate between Fred Palmer, VP of Governmental Relations at Peabody Energy and Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, moderated by Bryan Walsh of Time Magazine. Mr. Nilles’s work with the Sierra Club aims to move the world economy toward an energy future powered by carbon emission-free energy by halting construction on new coal-fired plants, retiring existing coal-fired plants, and ending the mining and selling of US coal reserves on the international market.

The event will take place at Graham Chapel on Washington University’s Danforth Campus on Tuesday, April 27th, at 5:00pm. Doors will open at 4:30. Following the debate will be a reception in the nearby Danforth University Center’s Tisch Commons.

We hope you can join us for this exciting discussion on the viability of continued use of coal. We will be live-streaming the debate as well! If you can’t attend, please tune in (with your viewing party perhaps) here.


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