Out of 1,000 students, Colorado State supports clean coal by 35% margin

A pie chart summary of the results of CFACT’s poll at CSU.

A poll of 1,026 total students at the Pueblo and Fort Collins campuses of Colorado State University (CSU) revealed that the students support the use of clean coal by an impressive 35% margin.
The final tally showed 58% of students polled said they support the use of clean coal, 23% were opposed, and 19% were undecided.
The poll was conducted from August 27-28, 2018 at both the CSU Pueblo and Fort Collins campuses. The students were asked “Do you support the continued use of clean coal to keep electricity prices affordable, protect jobs, and help grow the Colorado economy?” 593 out of 1,026 Colorado college aged students replied “Yes.” It’s clear that in Colorado, the upcoming generation is strongly in favor of using clean coal for powering the State moving forward.

CFACT activists at CSU Fort Collins pose outside the Lory Student Center while performing the survey.

“It was great to be able to participate in an outreach effort like this and learn what our fellow students really think about the issue of clean coal in Colorado,” said Sydni Williams and Nicole Smith, students at CSU Pueblo who helped lead the survey on campus.
The issue of coal is particularly relevant in Colorado, as Xcel Energy, a public utility based out of Minneapolis, is proposing to shut down the Comanche 1 and 2 coal power plants in Pueblo. This is a part of Xcel’s “Colorado Energy Plan” (CEP) which is intended to replace these clean coal facilities with wind and solar. The proposed CEP will cost a whopping $2.5 billion.
While Xcel, which provides electricity to 1.4 million Coloradans, claims the CEP will save customers money, it is unclear how that will happen any time soon with the aforementioned $2.5 billion price tag. The utility already spent $190 million in ratepayer dollars in fitting the Comanche facilities with state of the art emissions cleaning technology. Just a few years later, the utility now wants to scrap it.

CSU Pueblo student Sydni Williams asks a student at the student center what they think about clean coal.

“Any decision to shut down the use of coal in Colorado is in direct contrast with the wishes of young voters in the State based off this CSU poll,” said Adam Houser, National Director of Collegians for CFACT. “If these utilities really want to do what’s best for ratepayers and students, they should listen to these CSU students and expand or at least maintain the use of coal, not shut coal facilities down.”
It is also doubtful that the CEP will help the environment. “Colorado already is ahead of schedule meeting some of the nation’s most aggressive renewable power and emission-reduction mandates in the country,” writes James Taylor, an energy analyst, in The Denver Post.
It is hardly sustainable or efficient to spend $190 million on effective, proven and reliable clean coal emissions technology only to shut those facilities down and spend another $2.5 billion.
Based off the results of CFACT’s poll, students in Colorado deserve, and demand, better.