Cleaner air, the removal of the large coal pile eyesore and a more welcoming downtown for everyone in and near Milwaukee - - as demanded by the public - - are the obvious benefits attached to the planned conversion of the antiquated, polluting We Energies Valley coal-fired electrical generating plant to natural gas announced Friday.
And a victory for persistent grassroots organizing:
The Cleaner Valley Coalition, a collection of community and environmental groups concerned about pollution from the plant, had called this summer for the utility to lay out its plan for the future of the plant by the end of this year.
"This is a great move beyond coal, and the asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes that coal causes," said Jennifer Feyerherm of the Sierra Club, a coalition partner. "Thousands signed petitions, hundreds have shown up at public hearings and talked with We Energies and the regulators. This is what happens when people use their power together."