Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Dear Sierra Club President: Please Add Cleveland State University to your "Campuses Beyond Coal" Campaign and Begin Organizing!
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 02/24/2011 - 11:47.
Dear Sierra Club President and Nachy Kanfer - Campuses Beyond Coal:
Please Add Cleveland State University to your "Campuses Beyond Coal" Campaign and begin organizing against their primary energy provider, the astoundingly deadly, coal-polluting, private-investor-owned Cleveland Thermal coal furnace in the Cleveland Flats!
Cleveland State University (CSU) is the largest customer of Cleveland Thermal, and so must take a lead in moving this community beyond coal.
I don't imagine President Obama realized this sad situation, prior to his recent visit to Cleveland to meet with small business leaders and government representative at CSU about "jump-starting" our local economy, killed by pollution. I'm sure if he knew he was supporting environmental injustice here, in that way, he would have chosen a more socially-just venue to promote. Cleveland State University is not included in your "Campuses Beyond Coal" campaign, and should be added and activated immediately - Cleveland Thermal is one of the largest polluters in America - we must bring this to light and move them beyond coal to protect Clevelanders.
I have had recent excellent experience working with the Sierra Club on your Ohio "Beyond Coal" initiative, with Nachy Kanfer - Campaign Representative, Midwest States, Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign - and Organizer Mattie Reitman, moving Case Western Reserve University beyond coal by forcing their "district heat" Medical Center Company heat source to move beyond coal... and realNEO appreciates the "Hat-Tip" on your website for helping with that!
My family was fooled into buying a home and living, working and playing near the Medical Center Company coal steam plant, a few miles to the east of Cleveland Thermal, in University Circle, which serves Case Western Reserve University. I am confident most students, supporters and employees of Case were also fooled into believing their institution was better than to burn coal in a dangerous manner, with environmental injustice - which we all learned was wrong. Case Western Reserve University had in fact hidden their coal burning so effectively they had slipped past the radar of your "Campuses Beyond Coal" campaign to help all colleges and universities in America move from dirty, killing coal fuel to more environmentally and progressive energy sources... a campaign that has already succeeded in cleaning up 150+ dirty schools... soon to include Case
Nachy Kanfer realized the Sierra Club had not included Case in the Campuses Beyond Coal program - corrected your national program and campaign to include Case Western Reserve University - and the Sierra Club thus helped lead the campaign to shut down coal burning at MCCO. We appear to have succeeded in getting a concession from the management of MCCO, whose president is Senator Sherrod Brown's brother, Robert Brown... Cleveland Plain Dealer Pulitzer-winning journalist Connie Schultz's brother-in-law. With such politically-charged leadership, this was a force to be reckoned-with... but we won. While we do not know their exact plans, MCCO has posted to their website they are "Moving Beyond Coal" - in tribute to your campaign.
I ask the Sierra Club to increase pressure on MCCO management to make clear their exact plans and include the community in their planning, as they have refused to do to date.
Sierra Club Campuses Beyond Coal Organizer Mattie Reitman testifying to the EPA
As with MCCO, I am certain few people in the Cleveland community - in the Cleveland State University community - realize they are party to killing others with excessive pollution... who would think there could be such a social burden from paying to get a college degree.
I am starting a scorched Earth campaign against Cleveland Thermal on my own, and I look forward to the Sierra Club joining me in the fight to move CSU beyond coal.
I intent to identify all OTHER customers of Cleveland Thermal and demand they become activists against participating in the social and environmental injustice of this facility, and this wrongful situation... I intend to start a boycott of all institutions, businesses, government and individuals putting their own dirty comfort and economy above the needs of the community, harming the health of all people living here. I intend to use shame and economic force to shut-down Cleveland Thermal coal-burning in Cleveland.
I've worked in an inefficient, over-heated Cleveland Thermal customer building before - the Caxton Building, at 812 Huron Road - and many of the private and government buildings downtown are connected to Cleveland Thermal's distributed steam heat system, connected to Cleveland Thermal's polluting downtown coal furnace in the Cleveland Flats - cheap heat makes building owners bad citizens, irresponsible, and wasteful.
Most Cleveland Thermal victims and enablers certainly don't even know this coal burning takes place in the heart of their community... much less that our local government, businesses, many apartments and Cleveland State University are guilty of environmental injustice... without awareness and choice.
While Cleveland Thermal appears to be owned by an outside predator - Chaired by a Mr. Donald Hoffman, in Oregon... a former International Paper Company executive - the direct enablers of his pollution, and all the vitims of his coal polluting, are right here in Ohio. I am organizing to fight against this outside power killing our community... corrupting our leadership for pennies on the dollar.
I'm sure Hoffman does not have a coal furnace in his back yard in Oregon. I intend to go see for myself... make things personal in HIS BACKYARD - I'm on my way to Oregon to research HIS community, operations and the harm caused to the world by this man further, in HIS BACKYARD - I doubt his neighbors and supporters there know he kills people in Cleveland.
I believe most Clevelanders have been fooled by Cleveland Thermal propaganda for district power to believe this is an environmentally sensitive way to heat a classroom - just as people supporting Case were fooled into thinking MCCO was actually good for the community, since 1932. So many lives lost to deception over the years. Major, irresponsible MCCO customer The Cleveland Museum of Natural History - home of the industry-supported and funded Green City Blue Lake Institute (a Green-washing fabrication of industrial leaders here) - has been core to this deception. Cleveland Thermal has also funded the "Sustainable Cleveland 2019" propaganda campaigns with customer City of Cleveland.
These "Kochs" corrupt science, economics, environmentalism, climate change activism and health awareness to profit an extra penny or so on the dollar, rather than invest in upgrading their facilities, saving lives, and bettering our community - like Shell Oil does not care for the well-being of Nigerians... BP does not care about Louisiana fishermen, or those who eat unhealthy fish.
We must see this facility moved away from coal - it should be moved out of the hands of outside investors who kill here, while living elsewhere, with contempt... millionaires killing the heart, spirit, soul and economy of impoverished Cleveland in the process.
Just as MCCO was shut down by their management for economic reasons - to avoid boycotts and other actions against MCCO customers, like Case, University Hospitals, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History - I expect Cleveland Thermal will eventually be shut down due to fear by their management of boycott against their customers, leading to outrage by all their customers and the community against their coal furnace.
Clearly, most Cleveland-area citizens are not customers of Cleveland Thermal and do not want coal burned in their backyards, to only benefit few outside investors, at the expense of our community's health. Most Clevelanders would prefer to pay an extra dollar a year in rent, tuition or taxes rather than be polluted AND personally guilty of environmental injustice - many would move, shop or study elsewhere rather than be part of killing with excessive pollution.
So, I expect we shall find many important community leaders will be pleased to help shut down Cleveland Thermal... not everyone here lives to save pennies and kill... not every building-owner in Cleveland cares so little about the health of the community. Some landlords currently at economic disadvantage because they are not on the excessively polluting Cleveland Thermal grid will be pleased to help right these wrongs... to make all landlords as socially responsible as themselves.
I will be organizing this community-wide boycott of Cleveland Thermal by their customers and the citizens of greater Cleveland, and I ask the Sierra Club to do whatever you may to organize the progressive students, faculty and administrators of Cleveland State University to get them to help move their institution off coal. That will be the greatest accomplishment of any CSU-stakeholders' lives... and one such "stakeholder" is "distinguished CSU alumnus" Frank Jackson, mayor of Cleveland. Many Cleveland leaders are CSU graduates, unwittingly supporting environmental injustice.
With the elimination of Cleveland Thermal's extreme coal-burning pollution point source here - in addition to the recent decision by FirstEnergy to shut down their Lake Shore Coal powerplant - and the decision of MCCO to move beyond coal - we are about to succeed in eliminating the three worst coal polluters in our city, and so save the community $ billions in healthcare costs and property damage - saving lives and preventing significant human suffering - fighting climate change.
I doubt your Campuses Beyond Coal program has had so great an impact anywhere else in America - as we shut down THREE coal plants here - and this should be highlighted as one of your greatest achievements.... after we succeed moving Cleveland State University beyond coal.
Thank you for the Sierra Club, for your efforts for the health of all people of America and the world, for fighting against climate change, by organizing Campuses Beyond Coal.