Student protesters are lobbying University of Kentucky officials to improving or shuttering the school's two coal boilers. The activists see opportunity in the new administration's push to upgrade campus facilities.
UK's two coal plants are out of date and pose serious health risks for students, faculty, and staff - that's the message demonstrators with the Beyond Coal Coalition want to send to the Board of Trustees. Organizer Patrick Johnson, who gave a five minute presentation before the Board of Trustees Finance Subcommittee Tuesday, says now is the perfect time for UK to implement cleaner technology.
"We believe that this campus has the potential to be transitioned to geo-thermal. If not a hundred percent, a very high percentage of the energy production on campus," Johnson said.
After Tuesday's trustees meeting, UK president Eli Capilouto applauded the students for taking a stand.
"The considerations about energy have always been important on our campus. Bob Wiseman, who oversees our facilities, is going to meet further with those students," Capilouto said.
Johnson says his group plans to continue urging the administration to investigate cleaner energy alternatives.