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Letter to the editor: Solar farm an opportunity for DTE

| Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

DTE Energy recently did the right thing for the citizens of southwest Pennsylvania by shutting down its polluting Shenango coke plant ( “Demolition of Shenango coke works plant on Neville Island to begin” ). The company now has an opportunity to be a leader again by turning the plant's site into one of the region's largest solar farms.

This would help in cleaning up the air we breathe and protecting our health. It would also create local jobs to help replace the 173 that were lost when the plant closed.

DTE Energy has already committed to building two large solar sites in Michigan and now boasts of being “the largest solar investor in the state.” Why not do the same for Pennsylvania? After years of polluting the environment and harming citizens' health, it's time for DTE to give something back to the community. A solar farm would improve the company's image in communities that have suffered from years of toxic coke emissions.

Transitioning to a solar farm would have far-reaching positive climate impacts. The federal government's climate report released Nov. 3 affirms that climate change is a real threat, driven almost entirely by human action, and could cause devastating damage across the United States. We're already seeing storms, droughts and fires being made worse by climate change.

Building a large solar farm in Allegheny County is DTE Energy's chance to be a leader on climate action. I hope the company can be a forward thinker and not lose this opportunity.

Prachi Patel

Point Breeze

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