Let’s Make Plans to Electrify the UC

The climate crisis requires promptly retiring the UC’s

methane-burning fossil fuel infrastructure

May 2022: UC Faculty can vote!

Following the struggle documented in these pages, all UC faculty now get to vote on the following striking proposition:

“The University of California Academic Senate petitions the Regents for investments in UC’s infrastructure that will reduce on-campus fossil fuel combustion by at least 60% of current levels by 2030 and by 95% of current levels by 2035.”

Please click your campus link to vote, please see more details here.

UCSF: Now – May 31

UCLA: Now – May 24, 12pm 

UCSC: Now – May 27th

UCD: Now – May 25, 5 pm

UCI: until May 31st

Others not yet open.

News Highlights

  1. April 2022: UC Berkeley makes electrification plans and starts advocating with lawmakers for $325M to Get Off The Gas.
  2. April 2022: BIG NEWS – A Memorial Resolution will now be voted on by ALL the faculty at 10 UCs:
  3. March 2022: UCSD reluctantly releases its first set of electrification plans arising from the 250K spend – they are 63% redacted.
  4. January 2022: Facilities management team at UCSD shares the Executive Summary of the $250,000 electrification study they are doing with Dufoe Consulting.
  5. October 2021: The Berkeley administrators have received $1M for an electrification study. Three consulting firms have been hired!
  6. October 2021: UCSF Academic Senate sets an Electrification-of-Campus discussion for Nov 4th
  7. August 2021: More clarity about how UC’s biogas program functions like an offset, with the same core problems.
  8. June 2021: Members of our team publish an exposure in the Sacramento Bee of the offsets purchases of UC Merced and UCLA (further exposing the bankruptcy of ‘carbon neutrality’) – alternative open access link here.
  9. May 2021: Our public records request to the UC reveals key data on campus emissions and offsets policy.
  10. April 2021: Chancellor Khosla of UC San Diego announced $250,000 for first electrification planning
  11. April 2021: President Drake’s representative announced that the President is “not ready to abandon carbon neutrality as our 2025 goal”
  12. November 2020-March 2021: Our team meets with Chancellors and also UCOP staff (President Drake declines to meet). We urge a shift of goal from carbon neutral to fossil free.
  13. October 2020: Energy Systems Petition, with 3,500 UC Signatures and supported by UC Unions representing nearly 40,000 submitted to UC administration.

The UC Burns Methane Gas on its Campuses

The campuses burn methane in cogeneration plants to generate electricity and heat.

The UC’s Massive Emissions Exacerbate the Climate Crisis

The burning of methane emits over 1 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per year (Scope 1 emissions)

Scope 1 is mostly burning fracked methane

The UC’s Current Approach to Climate Action is Outdated

The UC’s climate action plan is called “Carbon Neutrality 2025”. At this point, this depends heavily on purchasing carbon offsets, which is deeply problematic.

Stanford’s Campus Energy Runs on Electric Input

There is an Alternative: Early Retirement of the UC Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

The UC needs to make plans now to run its campuses on electric input instead of (mostly) methane. The electric input would come from a mix of on-site solar and the wider grid, which is increasingly sourced from utility-level wind and solar.