Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.14
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado State University
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Tonie Miyamoto
Director of Communications and Sustainability
Housing and Dining Services
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Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

In 2019, CSU and the City of Fort Collins partnered to file a joint RFP for an e-scooter service contract. By collaborating one contract was awarded rather than several competing companies vying on campus and in the City for business. Prior to the RFP being issued, CSU advocated for several City ordinances to be updated to make scooter integration as safe and as successful as possible. Specifically, CSU advocated for the traffic code to be amended to make dismount zones very clear, City Code 23-46 was updated to address right-of-way with escooters, and City Code 23-81 was updated to address encroachment permits. City Council hearings were held on February 19 and March 5, 2019 where the proposed code and ordinance amendments were presented for a vote. They passed and CSU and the City signed a Shared Mobility Agreement to move forward. The RFP process was successful with Bird e-scooters introduced to the City and CSU in fall 2019. Having one company awarded the contract has streamlined use and enforcement between campus and the City and has made it easier for students and community members to navigate this new transportation option.

The Fort Collins City Council adopted the Fort Collins City Plan on April 16, 2019. This plan is the comprehensive transportation plan for the City that articulates the community’s vision and core values, and establishes the overall policy foundation that will be used by the City of Fort Collins, its many local and regional partners, and the community at large to work toward that vision over the next 10-20 years. Representatives from CSU participated in the City Plan Staff Committee, Transit Master Plan (a component of the City Plan), Electric Vehicle Roadmap and the Equity Plan. Specifically, CSU advocated for 2b (Local Planning), 3c (installation of EV chargers in new construction), 4a (incentives for EV purchases), 4c (inclusion of EVs in ClimateWise program), and 5b (renewable electricity for EV charging).

CSU also advocated with the City to create a Development Review Checklist as one step in the required City Development Review process for all student-oriented developments within City limits. The checklist tracks projects on inclusion of bike racks, bike repair stations, bike share, car share, LEED certification, meditation and lactation rooms, EV charging infrastructure, access to City transit, shuttle service to campus, etc. Tailored recommendations are provided by CSU's transportation team for items not included in the development plan and the checklist is reviewed by the City as part of the Development Review process.

CSU has also recently advocated for the City's No Smoking ordinance to be updated as CSU adopted a smoke free policy. The City policy and campus policy are now much more aligned.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

At the state level, the CSU System Office sends fiscal notes for proposed bills so CSU can weigh in on potential fiscal impact to the institution (positive or negative) before a bill is introduced. If the bill gets introduced to the state legislature, the CSU System Office sends a bill review to CSU. The President’s Office manages the review with input from the Provost, Policy and Compliance Office, and subject matter experts at the university. Responses are consolidated into favor, oppose, or amend and sent back to the CSU System Office for the CSU System and its state relations team to represent/advocate at the capital.

The CSU System Chancellor holds weekly meetings with campus presidents and the state and federal relations team during the legislative session to discuss bills, share reviews, and strategize on behalf of the System.

Specific legislation CSU has supported:
In 2019, CSU supported Colorado Senate Bill 186 (SB19-186) “Expand Agricultural Chemical Management Program Protect Surface Water”. This bill was signed into law on June 3, 2019. https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-186

CSU provides legislative reviews on many state bills related to sustainability and sent favor, oppose, or amend reviews for the following during FY19 legislative session.
HB19-1231 – Appliance Efficiency Standards
HB18-1271 – Electric Utility rates
HB18-1270 – Energy Storage Systems
SB18-003 – Colorado Energy Office
SB18-064 – 100% Renewable Electricity
SB18 – 009 – Energy Storage Equipment


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

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

At the national level, CSU is actively involved with its representative national organizations, including APLU, to advocate on behalf of higher education issues at the national level. The university also has a federal relations team that works in partnership with the Colorado congressional delegation on issues and opportunities specifically impacting the CSU System, its students, and its research programs.

The CSU System Chancellor holds weekly meetings with campus presidents and the state and federal relations team during the legislative session to discuss bills, share reviews, and strategize on behalf of the System.

A specific issue CSU has advocated for is DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). On October 4,2019 CSU joined 164 other public and private universities and colleges from 32 states and the District of Columbia to submit an amicus brief for the forthcoming Supreme Court case regarding DACA. The brief argues that DACA enabled tens of thousands of undocumented students to pursue their education and thrive at higher educations institutions across the country, including CSU. “The CSU System has a unique mission to provide access to education for anyone with the talent and drive to pursue it,” CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank said. “From CSU’s beginnings in the 19th century, that mission has opened the doors of opportunity to women and people of color, and people with no family history of higher education. Today, that mission extends to people brought to this country as children who have excelled here in our Colorado high schools and want to continue their education. We signed on to this amicus brief because our Board of Governors has taken a strong stand in support of educational access for DACA students, and as the brief states, we believe it has been an unmitigated good for this country and our universities.” https://source.colostate.edu/colorado-state-university-system-joins-165-schools-urging-u-s-supreme-court-to-protect-daca/

CSU also participates in public policy at the national level through the Center for New Energy economy (CNEE). Founded in 2011 as a department of CSU, the CNEE is a group of energy policy experts led by Colorado’s 41st Governor, Bill Ritter Jr. with the purpose to educate, convene and inspire decision makers to create policies that facilitate America’s equitable transition to a clean energy economy. CNEE acts as an advanced energy policy think tank for states and works with them directly to enact policy. An example of a CNEE initiative is the Clean Energy Legislative Academy (CELA) http://cnee.colostate.edu/clean-energy-legislative-academy/, which brings together a bi-partisan cohort of state legislators and their energy staffers to learn about emerging energy issues and resources they’ll need, to develop effective clean energy policy in their states. To date, 48 state legislators from 29 states have attended the Academy. As stated on the webpage, each summer the CNEE “convenes a bipartisan group of state legislators for a four-day conference in Breckenridge, Colorado. At the Academy, legislators learn from a team of expert policy ‘faculty’ in a variety of issue areas, they share their stories with one another, and discuss their plans for making their states more competitive in the clean energy marketplace. Since opening in 2017, the academy has been attended by 40 Democrat and 16 Republican lawmakers from 28 states, plus 37 legislative staff. Breakout sessions have focused on energy storage, grid modernization, electric transportation, new utility business models, mainstreaming renewables, and clean energy financing. To build on the success of the legislator session, CNEE convenes respective legislative staff members and returning legislators for a deep dive workshop. Alongside expert faculty, attendees participate in an in-depth workshop which explores more detailed policy solutions to the key issue areas identified by legislators in the prior session”.

Lawmakers who attended the academy and whose bills have been passed or are advancing through state legislatures in 2019 include:

• New Mexico state Rep. Nathan P. Small (D), who co-sponsored a bill signed into law in March that aims to fully decarbonize the state’s electricity sector by 2045.

• Washington state Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D), chief sponsor of a bill passed in April that awaits Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature. The bill aims to fully decarbonize the state’s electric power sector by 2045.

• Nevada state Democratic senators Moises Denis, Chris Brooks and Pat Spearman, who were three of five primary sponsors of a bill passed in April requiring 50 percent of the state’s electricity to be produced from renewable sources.

• Maine state Rep. Matthew Pouliot (R), a co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill moving through the Maine Legislature that sets greenhouse gas reduction targets and a climate change action plan for Maine. The bill would require 100 percent of the state’s electricity to be generated by renewable sources by 2050.

• Utah state Rep. Stephen Handy (R), chief sponsor of Utah’s Community Renewable Energy Act, which was signed into state law by Gov. Gary Herbert (R) in March. The law allows local communities to create their own renewable energy program and requires them to set a goal to obtain 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

• Oregon Rep. Karin Power (D), co-chair of the state’s Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction, which is the sponsor of a sweeping state cap-and-trade bill, which sets a declining cap on greenhouse gas emissions and establishes a market system for trading emissions allowances.

https://news.bloombergenvironment.com/environment-and-energy/colorado-academy-helps-spur-sweeping-state-clean-energy-bills.

The Center’s assistance is tailored to the opportunities, needs, and conditions in each client state. All of our services are free of charge. Generally, this assistance will consist of one or more of the following:

> Assistance in developing legislative, regulatory and programmatic plans for clean energy development, building on policies already in place and on models from other states. Our work involves building upon proposals already in development, and suggesting new policies.

> Direct engagement with the governor and staff, state energy office director and staff, legislators, regulators, and opinion leaders, to advise on policy best practices and how to implement them.

> Coordination with local industry and policy stakeholders.

website: http://cnee.colostate.edu


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

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

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability is responsible for managing CSU’s participation as an official observer organization in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). CSU can request that a small number of people receive credentials for the annual meetings of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP), which is the international body in which negotiations for a global climate change agreement take place. CSU most recently attended the 24th session of the United Nations Climate Change conference, which kicked off Dec. 2, 2018 in Katowice, Poland. The CSU delegation was lead by Ken Shockley, an associate professor, the Holmes Rolston III Chair in Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, and an affiliate faculty member with the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at CSU, and including student representatives. In 2018 the CSU delegation advocated for how issues from the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be addressed through policy, how the Talanoa Dialogue can be used to make progress, and how to align sustainable development goals with nationally determined contributions. https://source.colostate.edu/csu-delegation-travels-to-poland-for-united-nations-climate-talks/

One example of an outstanding faculty member who has participated in public policy at the international level is Michelle Betsill, a professor in the Political Science Department at CSU. She has contributed to international policy formation. Betsill is a contributing author to the UN’s Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report in chapters 4 (Understanding urban carbon fluxes) and 6 (Social science perspectives on carbon). Additionally, Betsill was a contributing author to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report in Working Group III and contributed in chapters 12 and 15.


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):

CSU's Center for the New Energy Economy works closely with CSU’s rural economic development activities, spearheaded by Director of Economic Development and former Larimer County Commissioner Kathay Rennels, to advance statewide economic initiatives related to clean and renewable energy.


A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

N/A - as a public institution, CSU does not make political contributions


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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