UC Davis plans to establish a clean energy hub in the greater Sacramento-San Francisco Bay area.
This hub consists of a network of researchers, government officials, corporations and investors united to utilize innovations in the marketplace.
The event on May 12 was titled E3: Economic Prosperity, Energy and the Environment.
“We intend to build momentum and promote action to move California and the nation to a future characterized by economic prosperity, new jobs and a greener future grounded in innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Chancellor Linda Katehi during a nine-minute speech. Katehi spoke before an audience of about 225 people in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.
Perhaps the most visible figure in attendance was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger was in accord with Katehi’s vision for the future of Northern California.
“UC Davis is a university that doesn’t just talk about and theorize about the kind of interesting things that you develop here,” said the governor. “But you also put it on the market and you make it workable and it has such a tremendous effect.”
Schwarzenegger added that he wanted to congratulate the university on all the great work it is doing – work that will eventually be known “worldwide.”
Forum participants also included Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Chevron president Desmond King, PG&E Corp. Senior vice president Nancy McFadden and other regional and national leaders.
The university organized the forum to help shape the agenda for a larger symposium to possibly be held in November, said Tim Akin, director of marketing and communications for the Graduate School of Management.
“It was a truly milestone event for the campus,” Akin said.
Other events held during UC Davis Energy Week, May 10-13, included forums for each of the UC Renewable Energy Collaborative based at UC Davis, a meeting of the Green Energy Canada-California Consortium and a daylong conference to highlight new technologies to help brewers and winemakers be more environmentally sustainable and energy efficient.
Schwarzenegger said that California has led the way in implementing ambitious policies such as Assembly Bill 32, which combats climate change and reduces our dependency on foreign oil.
AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, was signed into law by Schwarzenegger in 2006 and requires the state to cut carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Opponents are seeking to suspend the law via a state initiative vote in November, saying the law is bad for the economy.
Schwarzenegger said that “greedy oil companies from Texas” are responsible for the ballot initiative, and that their minds are not on the environment but on lining their own pockets.
“[Students need] to get involved in this battle when they try to take our environmental policies and try to roll us back into the Stone Age,” Schwarzenegger said.
CHINTAN DESAI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.