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 March 2008 • NIRSA news and information
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Updates from HEASC

HEASCNIRSA is a proud member of the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium


The ACUPCC continues to grow, 11 more institutions signed on since the last digest; we now stand at 484 strong. This represents over 3.75 million students in 48 states – 22% of the total student population!

Watch the "Education for a Sustainable Future" Webinar from Nov. 27, 2007

The webinar can be viewed by going to the ‘Professional Development’ page on the HEASC website. Listen to Debra Rowe and others as they present a 90-minute webinar on the latest trends in sustainability on campus. Several higher education experts highlight some of the best examples of implementing sustainable projects and practices. We would like to thank the 8 speakers from HEASC and DANS who contributed to the event. Approximately 500 people participated in the webinar from 97 institutions.

AASHE Passes 500th Member Mark

On January 17, Western Carolina University became AASHE’s 500th member! Since January 2007, AASHE has experienced an increase of nearly 300 members, which is a sign that sustainability is definitely taking off at colleges and universities in the US and Canada. Of our current 500 members, about 100 are businesses and non-profits, including associations. We will soon post a map of our membership showing how geographically diverse the interest is. A special thanks to all HEASC associations for your membership and continued support for advancing sustainability within your particular sectors of higher education.

SCUP’s Carbon Neutral Offset Program

SCUP has been working with the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC) and its coordinating agent, Second Nature, to create a program for conference attendees in which they can offset the enormous amount of carbon dioxide emissions that will result from their travel to and from the conference. As you may know, CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions are a significant cause of global climate change.

SCUP is pleased to announce its’ Carbon Neutral Offset program in partnership with the nonprofit organization, Carbon Neutral Offset will allow attendees to purchase certified "carbon offsets" for $25. One hundred percent of the donation will go directly towards reducing CO2 emissions through investments in clean renewable energy, increased energy efficiency, or carbon sequestration (i.e., planting trees). More info

ACPA Sustainability Institute at Harvard - June 11-14

This conference will be most effective at moving sustainability forward if people from a variety of areas in higher education attend.

The ACPA Institute On Sustainability will bring together a diverse group of professionals who serve higher education and are committed to sustainability. The goal of this institute is to invite individuals and teams from institutions to create an understanding, framework and actionable goals and tasks that can be taken back to campus and integrated into the core of the institution. Leading sustainability scholars and practitioners will discuss current trends, benchmark and promising practices, as well as afford participants with the opportunity to plan the beginning of or next institutional steps to their on-campus practice. The ACPA Institute On Sustainability will seek to create education and awareness for sustainability's triple bottom line: healthy social systems, healthy environment and healthy economy. More info

Focus the Nation: What happened?

On Thursday, January 31, 2008, Global warming issues took over lecture halls in colleges across the country with more than 1,500 universities participating in what was billed as the nation's largest-ever "teach-in." Organizers said the goal of the event, dubbed "Focus the Nation," was to move past preaching to the green choir, to reach a captive audience of students in many fields who might not otherwise tune in to climate change issues. Read news article

Legislative Watch: Crucial Action for Wind Power in the U.S.

Contact your Senators and encourage them to extend the Wind Production Tax Credit as soon as possible. Although U.S. wind power grew extraordinarily in 2007, its continued growth is in danger without an extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC).

What is the Production Tax Credit (PTC)?

A Production Tax Credit (PTC) is a tax credit issued by the federal government to companies that generate electricity from renewable sources like wind power. The amount of the credit is based on the amount of electricity actually produced (production).

We need a Production Tax Credit (PTC) to:

  • Provide the crucial economic incentive needed to accelerate the continued rapid growth of clean energy
  • Help combat global warming by encouraging renewable energy use
  • Make it easier for all Americans to purchase energy from renewable sources like wind

Congress must pass an extension of the PTC NOW!

Last year, Congress was unable to provide an extension of the PTC, which is set to expire on December 31 of this year. As a result, the wind industry is already seeing a drop off in investment, which will quickly lead to thousands of job losses. Due to long production lead times in the wind industry, each month that passes without a PTC extension diminishes the industry's capacity to create jobs, spur economic growth and produce pollution-free electricity.

Based on historic performance, the American Wind Energy Association projects that the rate of growth in American wind power will decrease by more than 70 percent between this year and next in the absence of a swift extension of the PTC. This contrasts sharply with the current trend of dramatic wind power growth that could otherwise be expected to continue. Congress must act quickly to maintain the wind industry's ability to preserve existing jobs, create 10,000 new jobs this year and build another 5,000 megawatts of new wind energy which will spur another $10 billion in economic activity.

Help the wind energy industry by contacting your Senators and encouraging them to extend the PTC as soon as possible.

Send an email to your Senators about the Production Tax Credit.

If you need additional information, the American Wind Energy Association’s website should be able to help you, or contact Dr. Debra Rowe at

Here is a list of Target Senators on the PTC extension in the Economic Stimulus Bill

  • Martinez (R-FL) - Energy LA: Brydon Ross, Phone: (202) 224-3041
  • Murkowski (R-AK) - Energy LA: Chuck Kleeschulte, Phone: (202) 224-6665
  • Warner (R-VA) - Energy LA: Chelsea Maxwell, Phone: (202) 224-2023
  • Voinovich (R-OH) - Energy LA: Lauri Hettinger, Phone: (202) 224-3353
  • Dole (R-NC) - Energy LA: Arjun Mody, Phone: (202) 224-6342
  • Allard (R-CO) - Energy LA: Mandi McKinley, Phone: (202) 224-5941
  • Thune (R-SD) - Energy LA: Brendan Plack, Phone: (202) 224-2321
  • Brownback (R-KS) - Energy LA: Phil Ovitt, Phone: (202) 224-6521
  • Specter (R-PA) - Energy LA: Mary Beth McGowan, Phone: (202) 224-4254
  • Barrasso (R-WY) - Energy LA: Don Richards, Phone: (202) 224-6441
  • Lugar (R-IN) - Energy LA: Steve Koerner, Phone: (202) 224-4814
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