Sierra Club takes a stand outside Dairyland Power Cooperative

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Protestors are speaking out against Dairyland Power Cooperative.

The company is set to build a natural gas plant called the Nemadji Trail Energy Center (NTEC).

Dairyland Power Cooperative says it will deliver “reliable and flexible energy.”

However, members of the Coulee Region Sierra Club disagree.

“In the economic and physical climate that we’re in, there’s no reason for us not to be transitioning and we’re hoping Dairyland will hear that and make the transition as well,” said Sierra Club chapter of Wisconsin Campaign Coordinator Jadine Sonoda.

Over 250 people–some of which are Dairyland customers–have sent letters to the company to get them to stop the construction of NTEC.

While NTEC won’t rely solely on carbon, Sierra Club members say the plan is not sustainable and will hurt the environment and economy in the long run.

Dairyland Power Cooperative President Brent Ridge thinks differently.

He says the project will reduce emissions equivalent to removing 190,000 cars from the road each year.

Transitioning to clean energy at a faster rate may lead to major power outages.

“I think they want to be zero carbon or net-zero and we want to have much less carbon, but we also want to maintain a strong economy through reliable and cost-effective electricity,” said Ridge.

Sierra Club members said they’d like to speak with Dairyland Power Cooperative and discuss alternatives to NTEC.