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Letters to the Editor

Get off of coal

Casey Holcomb May 1st, 2013

Whitney Pearson’s April 10 commentary (”OG&E must move past coal,” Oklahoma Gazette) did an excellent job illustrating how our state stands to gain by getting off coal and leading the U.S. in making a rapid transition to clean and renewable energy.

In addition to the many immediate public health risks associated with coal-fired energy plants, the immense scale of environmental damage caused by modern mining practices should be regarded in sheer horror. For the workers, exposure to coal dust and other hazards is the cause of numerous life-threatening and long-term health problems. The high volume of carbon emissions from coal is also a leading cause of global warming trends and the worsening climate crisis.

Many new Oklahoma businesses and their employees are now flourishing thanks to the recent growth spurt surrounding the local clean energy economy. The benefits to public health, to the world’s ecosystems and to our local economies are tangible and abundant.

Our business leaders and state legislators should seize the moment to help lead the country (and the rest of the world) in decommissioning coal-fired plants. We can produce energy that gives us cleaner air and water, as well as a healthier, happier, more productive workforce. We can, and we must.

—Casey Holcomb, Norman

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