‘Don’t pass gas’: Reject UF’s proposed gas-powered energy plant

by Debra Trione

Transforming the global economy to run on clean energy instead of fossil fuels, like natural gas, will be a task of almost unbelievable proportions. Thankfully, we don’t have to tackle that problem in full. Our focus needs to be on Gainesville and UF. We do have some control over what happens here.

Scientists use scenario analysis to predict what might happen under a range of uncertainties. In the case of climate change the most relevant uncertainty right now is not scientific, but political.

This past June, the UF Board of Trustees approved an outrageously backward plan to install a 34-megawatt gas-fired Central Energy Plant, with a 50-year lifespan, right off Gale Lemerand Drive. 

It’s impossible to overstate just how foolish this plan would be. Imagine signing a contract that commits you to use last year’s telephone technology for the next 50 years. No thank you. We’re just not that dumb.

Over the last decade the price of solar energy has fallen nearly 90%, while the cost of natural gas has doubled and then doubled again. 

This trend is on course to accelerate well into the future, as solar technology improves, and the climate crisis explodes. It’s time to demand UF move toward solar instead of gas.

The UF Board of Trustees needs to hear loud and clear resistance to this gas plant project, right now. The Board meets again in early December to give its final seal of approval, so there’s no time to lose. To get involved or learn more, contact Debra Trione at debtrione@gmail.com. “Don’t Pass Gas” is the most urgent message we all need to send to the UF Board of Trustees today.

For more on the issue, check out Debra Trione’s op-ed in the Gainesville Sun on Sept. 17: https://tinyurl.com/Iguana1251.

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