Energy options abound, but MSU made an investment
The discussion about MSU’s energy policy, specifically its dependence on the T.B. Simon Power Plant, is drawing the attention of many around campus — thanks in large part to the MSU Beyond Coal Campaign.
Good. Now that everyone’s paying attention, let’s talk about the issues with coal and come up with some realistic alternatives for our energy needs.
While we understand that coal currently is our most affordable and viable source of energy on campus, let’s remember it is far from our best option in the long term. Yes, it is dirty. We know this.
However, we’re not demanding the university immediately transition off of coal.
Instead, there are easy adjustments we can make for long-term sustainability. First, we need to become shrewder about our energy usage in general.
In the dorms, in class, in common areas around campus: We all could accomplish what we want, while using much less. This is the first step to being environmentally responsible.
And as we’re using less energy, we’re saving money — money that can be invested in research and development for the technologies that can fuel our school for generations to come.
Wind power, solar energy and biomass energy — for which we already have capabilities — all are viable options to supplement MSU’s energy use as we gradually move away from coal.
If we are to be as green as we say we are, we’re going to have to be smarter about our energy usage by using less as well as switching to cleaner fuel sources.
We have plenty of options, and at some point the university will need to make an initial investment in order to utilize energy sources that will be safe and cost-effective in the long term.
Nothing will happen tomorrow, but why shouldn’t we be the impetus for a greener future for all Spartans to come? That seems perfectly plausible to me.
Marley Ward, no-preference freshman