The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel


In response to “UNC trying to quit coal,” (Aug. 27) I am overjoyed by the earnestness of Chancellor Thorp and the University’s Energy Task Force to lead UNC to a coal-free future by 2020.

The decision to test wood pellets as an alternative source is also a positive development. Wood pellets, though initially more expensive than coal, are dense and significantly more efficient than other alternative energy sources. The pellets are made from leftover sawdust from lumber production or from already lifeless soft-wood trees.

Consequently, the process of burning these pellets has been declared relatively carbon neutral. This booming industry has also become largely American with some of the greatest global production taking place in southeastern U.S.

Still, my support for wood pellet combustion does not negate the importance for a diversified energy source portfolio. The new energy future requires that multiple sources be utilized, including biomass, natural gas, solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear energy.

The overwhelming evidence of global climate change compounded with the gravity of dependence on foreign energy suppliers have presented unprecedented challenges to the United States.

I am extremely proud that the University has decided to lead on this issue and demonstrate to her counterparts that homegrown, sustainable, and efficient energy is feasible and necessary. I plead for the University to continue to advance this crucial agenda and for The Daily Tar Heel to hold the administration accountable to its promises.

Chris Scanzoni
Public Policy

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