Natural Gas Pipeline to be added for Ohio University

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Ohio University is teaming up with Columbia Gas of Ohio to fulfill a plan called the energy infrastructure project initiative that will use a natural gas pipeline to end the use of coal on campus.

The project is built, owned, and operated by Columbia Gas, but Ohio University will be one of the beneficiaries.

The energy infrastructure project initiative was presented in June 2014 to the OU’s Board of Trustees, and is a part of the university’s climate action plan and sustainability plan.

OU currently has temporary boilers hoping to meet the institutional obligation to stop using coal by December 31 of this year.

“A part of the energy structure initiative is recognizing that we have lots of problems with our systems and they waste energy. So, we just came off of a two week effort to make repairs to our distribution system,” said Joe Lalley, the Senior Associate Vice President of Information Technologies and Administrative Services.

According to The Post, the pipeline cost $5.5 million and will be built under the Hocking River to the Lausche Heating Plant site.

Protests have recently emerged on university grounds due to the energy infrastructure project.

According to The Athens Post, protestors have made demands explaining why they want to stop the project in its tracks.

Lalley claims that the project will benefit not only the university but the environment as well because it will lower the university’s carbon usage by 34%.

“I think at the end of the day we share a common goal and we have disagreements on how to get there, and we’re faced with the very real task of dealing with the infrastructure we have and trying to make use of wise decisions in the long run,” Lalley said.