Clean Power Coalition-Southeast Wisconsin: Neighboring Coal Plant Community Responds to Pleasant Prairie Retirement Announcement
OAK CREEK, WI -- Today, We Energies’ parent company announced that it would be retiring the Pleasant Prairie coal plant next year.
“There were, no doubt, many reasons to retire the coal powered Pleasant Prairie plant in Kenosha; all but a few of these could be used to justify retiring We Energies’ Oak Creek plant as well. Coal, despite recent efforts, is in decline. We hope that closing the Pleasant Prairie plant will not transfer the many negative consequences of burning coal to another location, and we are encouraged by We Energies’ plan to add a new solar farm to their generation mix. We Energies should continue this effort to retire existing coal plants and to adopt renewable energy throughout its service territory,” said Tom Rutkowski, a member of the Clean Power Coalition-Southeast Wisconsin.
The Coalition formed around growing concerns of pollution from We Energies’ coal-fired plants and their continued reliance on coal power, the dirtiest fuel source. Coalition members include local residents impacted by pollution from the Oak Creek coal plants and other concerned community members, as well as groups ranging from the Sierra Club to Greening Greater Racine.
Northern Kenosha county resident Joe Dubaniewicz said,“I am heartened that the coal-fired electricity power plant in Pleasant Prairie is shutting down and it is a sign of the times. Keep it in the ground. I hope We Energies starts investing in renewable and sustainable sources of energy like solar and wind.”
Coalition members from the Oak Creek area cautiously welcomed the shift away from coal to clean energy. "The retirement of Pleasant Prairie is a good thing, especially for the people of Pleasant Prairie and Kenosha,” stated Bill Pringle, a former resident of Caledonia whose family developed severe respiratory issues while living near the Oak Creek Plant. “But it doesn’t solve anything for the people of Oak Creek and Caledonia, who have been raising concerns about pollution for years. We Energies needs to make sure their energy production doesn’t come at the expense of residents who live around the Oak Creek plant."