I walk into the university and my heart just breaks. How dare they do that to the future of these kids?”
— Stephen Mulkey, UF sustainability professor
Ground-level ozone, primarily from methane gas, causes one million premature deaths every year.
It’s no wonder the University of Florida waited until summer last year, when most students were away from campus, to push through their plan to spend more than $200 million on a new power plant that would run on natural gas and produce massive amounts of – you guessed it – methane.
UF President Kent Fuchs said he “can’t wait” to move forward with the plan.
UF has made a commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 but, according to Climate Action Gator President Makenzie Griffin, that won’t happen if they go ahead with this methane-producing power plant.
Professor Mulkey says the only energy source worse than methane is coal and that methane heats our climate over 80 times more than carbon dioxide for 20 years after entering Earth’s atmosphere.
This is the sunshine state, so why isn’t UF following the lead of other universities who are moving away from fossil fuels and toward solar and other renewable forms of clean energy?
According to a report written by UF graduate Dr. Sarah Toth, if the university used renewable energy, not only would it be better for our environment and health, it would cost about half of the projected budget for the gas-powered plant.