Coal is Too Dirty Even for College -- New Campaign Targets Polluting Schools

That’s the first ad of our new campaign targeting the world of higher education: Coal is too dirty – even for college.

Did you know that many of our country’s colleges and universities – places that are supposed to be a source of higher-education and leadership – get their electricity by burning coal? And sometimes those coal-fired power plants are even on the campuses?

I think many of us look back in disbelief at some of the things we did in college. We’re seeing that same sense of disbelief from current college students when they learn that their campuses are still powered by coal.

This ad launches a campaign that will use print and online advertising (two more video ads to come) to highlight that some things are just too dirty, even for college.

The ads play off stereotypically “dirty” college behavior, becoming progressively more “dirty” throughout the series. Though college life allows for leniency in the socially acceptable, coal still crosses the line. 

The ad campaign targets schools in 11 states which currently rely on coal power.

  • Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Ohio University
  • Penn State University
  • SUNY-Binghamton
  • University of Colorado - Boulder
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • University of Missouri-Columbia
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Washington
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington University-St. Louis

If you attend one of these schools, you can sign a petition asking your university president to kick coal off your campus – the list and the petition are on this website: 

The Campuses Beyond Coal Campaign is working nationwide to wean all campuses off of coal-generated electricity and replace it with clean energy options. With organizers on the ground in several of the more than 60 campuses with on-site coal plants the Campaign is working to help universities achieve the zero carbon emissions targets set forth in the Presidents Climate Commitment.

We released a report last month to support the campaign: “Breaking Coal’s Grip on Our Future: Moving Campuses Beyond Coal.” It highlights many of the problems facing coal dependent schools and the solutions available.

We know students want a cleaner, healthier future, and so they're organizing on campuses coast-to-coast to make that vision a reality.

The ad campaign will run through the end of October, with the remaining two videos to be released in the next few weeks. It’s time to kick coal off campus!

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