Cal State Renewable Energy Progress, or Stalling?

The California State University system took a small step recently towards being a clean energy leader, when its Board of Trustees voted to study establishing a system-wide clean energy policy. The policy mandates that the Chancellor’s office “assess and evaluate” the costs and benefits of clean energy and make a recommendation for system-wide goals.

Long Beach, California – May 21, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] According to GreenPeace, many students, professors and experts are critical of the lack of goals or specifics in the policy. “My professor would give me a “F” if I turned in a paper saying that I was going to write a paper after further research in a yet to be determined direction,” said California State Student Association (CSSA) Environmental Affairs Officer and San Marcos senior Erik Roper. “The rest of California is already making strong commitments to clean energy, it’s time for Cal State to do the same.” Cal State is one of the last major institutions in the state that has not yet made a specific, significant commitment to clean energy, according to Greenpeace. The University of California system and the Los Angeles Community College District have both recently passed groundbreaking clean energy policies. The State of California has a clean energy goal, as do the cities of San Francisco and San Diego. “The policy passed by the Cal State Board of Trustees is a good start. But it is just that,” said Greenpeace campaigner Matt Ewing. “University and college systems across California are making real concrete commitments to clean energy. Cal State needs to do the same.” The vote comes after a 6 month “ReNew CSU” campaign spearheaded by the California State Student Association, Greenpeace, and student activists across the state. Numerous state and campus officials including California Treasurer Phil Angelides, California Integrated Waste Management Board Chair Linda Moulton-Patterson and Cal State Chico President Paul Zingg have supported the campaign, which is calling for a concrete commitment to clean energy and green building. 19 of Cal State’s 23 student senates have endorsed the campaign, as has the system-wide faculty senate. Fueled by the federal government’s consistent efforts to block the nation from joining the global community to stop global warming, students across the country are taking matters into their own hands and securing clean energy commitments from their universities. Greenpeace is working with such students at over 100 colleges and universities.

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