As I read my copy of The Miami Student this past week about the president’s sustainability plan in regards to phasing out the use of coal, I thought, “Great for MU, great for the environment, but what about my husband’s job?” My husband, Jason has worked at the Miami University steam plant for the past four years. It’s a dirty, hard job to work around coal. It also provides money we desperately need to take care of our four children. I don’t think students always see both sides to issues like the burning of coal. Yes, I agree it’s not the best on the environment, but here are some facts: Miami just spent $20 million on new construction and systems within the last two years making the coal burn cleaner and meeting the EPA’s standards. That’s a LOT of money!!! Here’s another fact — 20 men work down at the steam plant … what will the president do about their jobs? They’ve been burning coal almost from day number one here on this campus. Will these men lose their jobs? Will they have a chance to be re-educated in the phasing out of coal? Some of these men have been very well-educated on the computer systems attached to the boilers running the plant; they’ve taken hours of courses learning about steam, water pressure and safety procedures. My husband is one of them that has gone out of his way to learn more to better himself by education of steam plant operations only to find out now that will mean nothing in the years to come. I worry about my husband’s job, about meeting our family’s needs and I worry about the other men and their families if the president decides coal isn’t the way to go … what is his plan as far as these men are concerned? Does anyone care what happens to their jobs?
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