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Oppeneer: Shut down the power plant

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Imagine being young and healthy, moving into a new city in anticipation of beginning an exciting new chapter in your life — only to spend months cycling in and out of doctor’s offices and ER’s before finally being diagnosed with asthma.

That was my story many years ago, after moving to the north side of Racine, within five miles of the South Oak Creek power plant.

I am fit and healthy by most standards, but asthma is my constant companion. It impacts my ability to engage in activities I love — long-distance cycling and gardening — when the air quality is poor.

It now places me in a high-risk category for having a very poor outcome if I contract COVID-19. I am not alone. I am one of countless others who wonder if their descent from perfect respiratory health to a sudden chronic illness is connected to living so close to a coal-fired power plant.

How many other lives must be sacrificed before WE Energies believes the scientific data that states in unequivocal terms that toxins released by coal-fired power plants are dangerous?

It is time to shut down the South Oak Creek power plant.

Martha Jackson Oppeneer, Racine


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