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UTPA, Sierra Club push for clean energy with bike ride
Contact: Brenda Oloarte, CAMP intern (956) 665-2741
Posted: 02/16/2011
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The University of Texas-Pan American and the Sierra Club are teaming up again to promote energy conservation with the environmental organization's Beyond Coal campaign.

Approximately 100 people from the community participated in the last Beyond Coal bike ride in November 2010 organized by UTPA's Office for Sustainability and the Sierra Club. The campaign promotes alternative forms of transportation to conserve energy.

The event will be held at the University's International Trade and Technology building Saturday, Feb. 19, beginning with a presentation by the Sierra Club at 1 p.m.

Guest speaker Flavia de la Fuente, a campaign coordinator with the Sierra Club, will talk about the importance of building a cleaner atmosphere and the need for using clean resources. She and other event organizers will also teach community members what they can do to avoid the use of coal and become involved in the energy conservation movement.

After the presentation, Dr. Jaime Ramos, assistant professor of electrical engineering at UTPA, will offer a tour of the solar arrays TXU Energy donated to the University, and participants will go on a bicycle ride throughout town to encourage others to use alternative forms of transportation.

"We use bicycles as a way to convey our message by saying there are possible avenues for renewable energies that everybody can have access to, we just need to invest in them," said Jorge Trujillo, a member of the University's Environmental Awareness Club.

All participants are encouraged to bring their own bicycles to the event.

This is the second time UTPA and the Sierra Club have partnered to get the word out about using clean energy. The last Beyond Coal event was in November 2010.

Texas has the greatest amount of coal consumption nationwide, and the event's organizers said the Rio Grande Valley can help change it by choosing alternative sources of energy.

Free refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact the Office for Sustainability at (956) 665-3030 or visit the Office's website.