When I pulled into East Lansing yesterday the first thing I saw was the two looming towers of the Michigan State University campus coal plant. MSU's T.B. Simon coal plant is the largest campus coal plant in the country. And this week we need all hands on deck to build momentum to shut it down.
This Friday April 13, MSU's Board of Trustees will vote on an "Energy Transition Plan." The plan while seeming strong at face value, is missing critical elements. Most notably it lacks: 1) a date to retire the coal plant and 2) a full-scale plan to rapidly scale up efficiency and renewables.
As a result of student pressure, the plan does state the ultimate goal is to power MSU with 100% clean energy. This is a testament to the power of student organizing, and demonstrates that the university understands it’s important to transition to clean energy. However, without an actual plan to retire the coal plant, it’s a hollow promise and we need to change that.