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January 12, 2012

Sierra Club Gives College Basketball Clean Energy Boost

StudentIn a unique move this month the Sierra Club and Sierra Student Coalition are making moves into college basketball fandom by sponsoring games with two of the top teams in the nation. The Sierra Club Clean Energy Match-Ups Jan. 12 at Indiana University (vs. Minnesota) and Jan. 17 at the University of Kentucky (vs. Arkansas) will feature Sierra Club giveaways, signs, logos, radios spots, and presentations.

“We hope to get more Hoosier basketball fans involved in making Indiana a leader off the court by retiring the coal plant on campus and replacing it with clean energy solutions. Moving off coal will mean cleaner air and a healthier campus that Hoosier fans can be really proud of,” said Megan Anderson a senior at Indiana University and President of Coal-Free IU which has been campaigning to move IU beyond coal for nearly three years.

The idea behind the games is to connect fans with the idea that athletes and all students will perform better if they have cleaner air to breathe. Both Indiana and Kentucky operate dirty coal plants right on campus. At IU the campus plant is the largest single source of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide pollution in the county.

“I grew up in rural Kentucky as a Wildcats basketball fan and now as a student I’m working to make sure UK is a real leader by investing in clean energy that will create good jobs here in Kentucky, boost our economy and mean healthier air and water for everyone,” said Patrick Johnson a senior at the University of Kentucky and leader of Greenthumb, the campus group working to move UK off coal on campus. “I couldn’t be more excited to see two things so important to me come together with the Sierra Club Clean Energy Match-Up here in Kentucky.”

In addition to the games the Sierra Club is running full-page newspaper ads and local students are hosting campaign actions incluuding a major petition delivery at IU where leaders will present the more than 5,000 petitions collected since the campaign launched in 2009 to IU President Michael McRobbie.

The games have already earned significant coverage in both Kentucky and Bloomington, IN. Here's just a few of the clips so far:

Lexington Herald-Leader (front page!): Sierra Club sponsoring Kentucky basketball game

Indiana Daily Student: Coal Free IU Launches Week of Action

Kentucky Kernel: Sierra Club sponosoring UK-Arkansas Game

See the full press release here.

--Cross-posted from the Sierra Student Coalition blog

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