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Cornell's new, super-efficient Combined Heat and Power Plant will cut campus carbon emissions by 28 percent in only 18 months. Consumption of coal in the plant will be reduced by 50 percent over the first year, and eliminated in the second.

The university celebrated its move beyond coal with remarks by: Tim Fahey, Cornell professor of natural resources; Kyu Whang, Cornell Vice President for Facilities Services; Cornell President David Skorton; DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis; and Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign.

The new plant is only a small step on Cornell's path toward zero net greenhouse gas emissions. In February 2009, Skorton became one of the first university presidents to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment to meet that goal by 2050.