Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.61
Liaison Margaret Lo
Submission Date Sept. 28, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Ball State University
PAE-24: Sustainability Policy Advocacy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Dr. JTerry King
Interim President
President's Office
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Has the institution advocated for federal, state, and/or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability, including the issues, bills, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

President Gora was recently elected to the Steering Committee of the ACUPCC.

In addition, President Jo Ann Gora is chairing a subcommittee of the ACUPCC to develop financing options for campuses.

This builds on her prior work with Jim Elder to develop a "chorus of voices" in support of some enhancements to the EISA Section 471 Program.

Here's the gist of what our university continues to push for; and, we have had buy-in from (former) Senator Evan Bayh.

EISA Section 471 Program:
In 2007 Congress enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). Section 471 of that Act creates a new program called "Energy Sustainability and Efficiency Grants and Loans for Institutions." The Section 471 Program will provide an important source of grant funding to help implement energy efficiency projects at colleges, universities, school districts and municipalities.
While the program has been created in law, Congress has not yet funded the program.

Grant Cap:
Unfortunately, EISA Section 471 includes a $1 million cap on any grant award made by the U.S. Department of Energy under the program. This cap is problematic for two reasons:
1) The purpose of the Section 471 program is to provide grants to large institutional entities (colleges, universities, school districts, municipalities) for energy efficiency projects. By their very nature, such entities are going to have larger projects with higher costs. The Department of Energy should have the flexibility to assist institutional entities with grants of a meaningful size.
2) At some point in time, we would all like to see the House and Senate Appropriations Committees fund this new program. However, to do so, they will need to see support from the intended beneficiaries. With the current $1 million cap on grant awards, there is just not enough interest in the program to generate support. The potential federal assistance is not enticing enough.
Senator Bayh:
In response to a request from Ball State University, Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) has agreed to champion a modification to Section 471 to raise the cap from $1 million to $5 million. Senator Bayh is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Senator Bayh's office has asked Ball State University to help generate support for this effort.
Specifically, we sought an expression of support from Second Nature and like-minded universities.

The website URL where information about the institution’s advocacy efforts are available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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