There will be a panel discussion on “Ending Coal Burning in Western New York” at 7:30 p.m., Monday, November 12th, Daemen College, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, Room 336, Duns Scotus Hall.  It is free and open to the public.  The panelist include: Penny Messinger, Ph.D., Associate Professor, History and Government Department, Daemen College; Rebecca Newberry, Program Coordinator, Clean Air Coalition of WNY (; Kenzie Reynen, Global and Local Sustainability Major, Daemen College; Jennifer Tuttle, Organizer, Sierra Club New York Beyond Coal Campaign (

The moderator is Walter Simpson ( who will begin the session with a presentation on how activists helped prevent the construction of a new coal plant in Jamestown, NY.  The discussion will then turn to the fate of Western New York’s four existing coal plants.

Mining coal destroys mountain tops in Appalachia and burning coal releases acid rain and lung cancer and asthma-causing emissions.  In addition, burning coal produces more greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy than any other fossil fuel.  While only 10% of New York’s electricity generation is the result of burning coal, this is responsible for 41% of our state’s greenhouse emissions from power generation.  Most of New York’s coal-burning power plant capacity is located right here in Western New York and all four of these plants are on the brink of closing.  Should we hasten their closure?  Are there clean energy sources that could replace the power these plants produce?  Can we transition away from coal in a manner that respects the communities and employees dependent on these plants?

This panel discussion is presented as part of the Alternative & Renewable Energy Issues course in Daemen’s Global & Sustainability program.  For information on this exciting new major and minor, visit  For more information about the panel discussion, or 839-0062. 

NOTE: The last panel discussion in this series will be “Accelerating the Implementation of Renewable Energy” at 7:30 p.m., Monday, November 26th at Daemen College, Room 336 Duns Scotus Hall, featuring a presentation by Bill Nowak on the Feed-in Tariff/CLEAN Energy Proposal.