While fossil fuel companies sell polluting energy as “clean” from the halls of our universities to international forums, frontline communities must fight for their voices to be heard.
“Washington University in St. Louis is a national leader in sustainability, a core priority that runs through all aspects of our campus community, our operations and our work as a leading research and teaching institution.” These are the words that greet me when I click on “Energy, Environment & Sustainability,” one of the most prominent tabs on the wustl.
“Steven Leer, why is he here?” chanted 40 Washington University students and community members who demonstrated at the Arch Coal headquarters on Friday. They were protesting the actions of both the company and Arch CEO and University board-of-trustees member Steven Leer.
On Jan. 24, Washington University released a new pledge in an effort to help students go green (formally called a “pledge for sustainability.”) Designed to encourage students and staff to consider their environmentally harmful decisions and make changes accordingly, the pledge calls for participants to reduce their carbon footprints. We commend this pledge, as we would any effort to promote responsible sustainability and reduce waste.
This Monday, members of our student body engaged in a flash mob protest to demonstrate opposition to the framing of Washington University’s “Energy Future” conference. The conference promoted a vision of future energy sources that left out renewable energy such as wind and solar and directed its emphasis to nuclear power, clean coal and genetically engineered biofuels.
I am deeply disturbed by the recent appointments of two coal executives to our University’s Board of Trustees. Arch Coal and Peabody Energy Company both have disastrous records when it comes to public health, labor standards and environmental quality. These charges take full shape in both companies’ adherence to mountaintop removal coal mining. This practice, […]
The two recent appointments to the University board of trustees of powerful men in the coal industry reflects the viewpoint on energy that the University seeks to project as we move forward.