Collegians Stand up for Energy, Security and a Real Economic Future

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CFACT’s Collegians have been busy in the last month standing up for common sense energy projects and fighting against radical greens.

In Arkansas, the Collegians ended an Arkansas Public Service Commission with ‘a bang’ when University of Arkansas students called out the Sierra Club’s disingenuous tactics. A single coal plant provides the vast majority of electricity to the northwest Arkansas – home of Wal-Mart’s headquarters and the research labs at the University of Arkansas.

New and onerous EPA rules that are going into effect are forcing coal plants across the nation to undergo expensive upgrades or go out of business – basically fulfilling President Obama’s pledge in 2008, “So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

The coal plant in Northwest Arkansas has pledged $400 Million to meet the EPA’s costly new standards, but that’s not enough for the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club forced an opinion saying the coal plant should be gutted and replaced with a natural gas plant.

CFACT’s Collegians called out the Sierra Club at the Public Services Commission by challenging the Sierra Club’s plan that would more than double the cost of the coal plant’s $400 million conversion.

Collegians showed that the Sierra Club’s claim of anti-coal sentiment was smoke and mirror marketing when CFACT conducted a survey on the University of Arkansas campus that showed 79% of students were supportive of clean coal electricity production.

Collegians pinned the Sierra Club to the mat by showing that the local natural gas pipeline infrastructure did not have enough capacity to fuel a new natural gas plant, and that the Sierra Club was the largest opponent of pipeline construction in the country.

Collegian Kenny Wallis gave the final testimony, and the Commission Chairman closed the meeting by stating “Thank you Mr. Wallis, we ended with a bang!”

Click here to see Kenny’s testimony.

The Collegians made one other critical point in Arkansas – that the natural gas needed to fuel a new plant was only economical due to ‘fracking’, and that the Sierra Club was front and center in trying to ban this important technology. In response, Collegians in New York rallied to lift such a ban on the capitol steps in Albany, NY.

Collegians from our chapters in Syracuse, Union College and Sienna College traveled to join with hundreds of other citizens to protest the economy killing ban on fracking.

You can see photos of the rally here and here.

Collegians marched with their banner that summed up the impact of fracking on the Marcellus Shale was having in neighboring Pennsylvania – “CHEAP ENERGY? MORE JOBS? A BETTER FUTURE? FRACK-YES!”

More and more, college students are waking up from the green stupor politicians such as Al Gore and Barack Obama have on young people. They see their future marred by 50% unemployment rates, soaring students debts, and little opportunity.

CFACT’s Collegians are spreading the message that the path to a prosperous future does not include government boondoggles like Solyndra, government regulations that price out domestic energy sources, or pie-in-the-sky green job promises from bankrupt politicians – but rather our prosperity will come from the responsible use and recovery of our domestic resources, access to cheap and plentiful power, and an unleashed economic engine.

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About the Author: Bill Gilles