Coal in Your Community

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If you turn the lights on in your house, then coal is present in your community. Come join the Social Justice Committee of the School of City and Regional Planning on Monday, March, 26 from 6:00-8:00pm in the Reinsch Peirce Family Auditorium at an event that explores the impact that coal has on communities in Georgia and beyond.

Our presenters represent two regions that have been affected by coal power production. Donna Branham is a community organizer in Mingo County, West Virginia. Her husband and her father were coal miners. After seeing the environmental and economic effects of strip-mining in her community, she decided to take action.

Seth Gunning and Jennette Gayer are environmental advocates from the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign and Environment Georgia, respectively. Both are well-respected in their field. Seth is a Georgia resident who has been an active participant in the conversation around energy policy in the state. He is a graduate of Valdosta State University. Jennette coordinates policy development, research, and legislative advocacy and organizes around a number of issues to bring cleaner air, water, and open spaces in Georgia. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. The two will discuss how coal burning power plants have evolved into a main power source in Georgia, and how the economy and the environment have been impacted. 

The third speaker is Dr. Marilyn Brown of the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy. During her prior career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, she held various leadership positions managing annual research budgets of $50 to $130 million, focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric grid, and energy engineering projects. While at ORNL, she was also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee. Her research focuses on the design and impact of policies aimed at accelerating the development and deployment of sustainable energy technologies. Dr. Brown will discuss how the future of energy is changing and the benefits of moving beyond coal.

After the event, we will have a reception with refreshments. Here, you’ll be able to continue the conversation and find more information from our partner groups.


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  • Created By:
    Teri Nagel
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  • Modified By:
    Fletcher Moore
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