Coal Free Mizzou looks 'Beyond Coal'

Labidie Environmental Organization president Patrica Schuba spoke about the effects of coal on the environment.

Labidie Environmental Organization President Patricia Schuba spoke Thursday night in Memorial Union on the effects of coal on the environment. Schuba’s visit was the third of four events put on by Coal Free Mizzou in its “Beyond Coal” series.

Coal Free Mizzou is a student organization aimed at changing the current use of coal. The series of events, “Beyond Coal,” is designed to inform Mizzou students about the dangers of coal exposure, Coal Free Mizzou member Taylor Dankmyer said.

The speech touched upon the current coal scare in our water supply and the real-life effects of coal pollution.

During the event, Schuba spoke about the dangers of coal production in front. She spoke about her town, Labadie, and what her organization has done to protect it from the waste created by the burning of coal.

“We’re really happy that we have so many people interested in the environment,” Coal Free Mizzou member Taylor Dankmyer said.

Schuba heads the biggest environmental group in Missouri and is currently on the front lines of a fight with Ameren, the region’s energy provider and operator of the power plant just outside of Labidie.

Schuba also said that Ameren has plans to build a 400-acre landfill in the Labadie Bottoms Floodplain, a hotbed for plant and animal life. LEO is looking to set a national precedent by standing up to Ameren by saying no to building in floodplains.

LEO has been urging state and national governments to ease up on coal consumption, using her town’s story as what could happen.

“Clean coal just doesn’t make any sense,” Schuba said during her speech.

Despite the growing sense of inevitability, the citizens of Labadie continue to oppose the construction, Schuba said.

She also said that a landfill must be built somewhere, but does not agree with the current location. Schuba had proposed that a team of professionals find a better place to build, but Ameren won’t comply, Schuba said.

“A different policy is possible,” Schuba said. “You have to think, 'What are we doing, and how can we change this?'”

Coal Free Mizzou plans to sponsor more events this year, including an event at the Galatic Fun Zone on Friday and guest speakers throughout the fall semester, said Dankmyer, former Maneater staff member.

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