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The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post
Grant Stover

Nurturing OUr Nature: OU should focus green energy methods

In last week’s midterm election, Athens County voted in favor of Issue 7 to ban hydraulic fracturing in the city limit of Athens. It passed with the highest percentage of all the nine issues that were voted on in the election with 78 percent. 

This is an exciting ban and it shows that the city of Athens is committed to green energy. The land around Athens, or anywhere, doesn’t deserve to be exploited for profit, so how is it justifiable to use dirty energy and invest into corporations that promote burning fossil fuels? The answer is that it can’t be justified.

Ohio University obviously plays a major role in Athens’ economy. As an institute for higher education, OU should hold students’ values high, and as a member of this city, OU should promote and lead on important issues.

This is why it is important for OU to find a way to use green energy to run this campus. Student Senate has already passed a resolution supporting endowment transparency and to divest from fossil fuels. Students deserve to know that their money isn’t going into the hands of corporations that see our environment as dollar signs and not something to protect and cultivate.

All funds supporting the burning of fossil fuels are not in the best interest of this city, this university, and the people that make it what it is. Divesting from fossil fuels is happening all over the country and it is time for OU to lead the movement and show other schools in the Midwest that it is time to change.

Almost all schools in California have started divesting from fossil fuels, and the University of Dayton is starting to divest as well. So far, schools have found financially viable ways to do this, and are even reporting better returns.

So what’s stopping us here at OU? Let’s make a change that emphasizes a strong moral stance for this university. OU has an accepted Sustainability Plan and Benchmark 21, which wants to assess the endowment investment to promote social justice and environmental responsibility. More information about the Sustainability Plan can be found on OU’s website under the Office of Sustainability.

The pieces are in place. If you are concerned about the progress of fossil fuel divestment, there are many ways to help. You can help by raising awareness through education and conversation. Write to the administration, newspapers, Athens’ city officials and show that students are concerned and want to see a divestment from fossil fuels on this campus.

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