Pennsylvania State University will move beyond coal, thanks to the urging of its students who are active members of Sierra Club's Campuses Beyond Coal campaign. Spearheaded by the Sierra Student Coalition, Campuses Beyond Coal targets colleges and universities in 11 states that use coal and urges them to transition to alternative energy sources.
The university has decided to stop burning coal at its West Campus Steam Plant, especially with the EPA's new boiler maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard in place, which limits mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. This new regulation would have required Penn State to install expensive, new pollution controls on the coal plant in order to meet the MACT standards. Also swaying the university's decision is its active Campus Beyond Coal campaign, consisting of student meetings, rallies, petitioning, press events, and community pressure to move beyond coal.
Penn State hopes to transisition its coal plant to alternative energy next year.