Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 46.66
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date April 26, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
PAE-24: Sustainability Policy Advocacy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Maureen Fellows
Director of Government Relations and Institutional Planning
Governmental Relations and Institutional Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

1. SUNY-ESF directly and successfully advocated with the New York congressional delegation and the U.S. House and Senate Committees on Agriculture in support of the Food, Conservation & Energy Act of 2008 (HR 2419/Public Law 110-234), commonly called "The Farm Bill 2008" for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) because sustainable bioenergy production from forestry and agriculture holds substantial promise for promoting rural economic development, reducing dependence on imported fuels, enhancing the environment and reducing greenhouse gases. SUNY-ESF selected this strategic niche because although the farm bill Energy Title contains several programs for research and development of the next generation of bioenergy refineries, the BCAP was the only measure designed to assist farmers and foresters who want to start producing cellulosic bioenergy crops. Designed to incentivize farmers and foresters to plant and grow bioenergy crops in a sustainable manner, BCAP was enacted in a manner proposed and advocated by SUNY-ESF during testimony by SUNY-ESF faculty and staff, advocacy campaigns and participation in the rule-making process as recently as October 2010.
2. SUNY-ESF directly and successfully advocated with the New York congressional delegation and the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Energy & Water Development Subcommittee and the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Energy & Water Development Subcommittee in support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, (ARRA 2009/Pub.L. 111-5) and commonly referred to as "The Stimulus or The Recovery Act," to include and fund Green Job Training at $500 million for worker training and placement projects that prepare workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy as authorized in the Green Jobs Act of 2007. SUNY-ESF also devoted significant time and attention to Extension of Production Tax Credit (PTC) for electricity from biomass and other renewable sources and making investment tax credits available to biomass facilities and all other renewable sources. Finally, SUNY-ESF played a direct and pivotal role in the establishment of the Renewable Energy Grant Program in Lieu of Tax Credits.
3. SUNY-ESF directly and successfully advocated with the New York congressional delegation and the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee and the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources in support of revised biomass definition, which was more balanced and unified business and environmental concerns during the Waxman-Markey "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009" (HR 2454) biomass definition debate. SUNY-ESF academic and scientific leadership strongly advocated against one-sided and narrowly-drawn definitions of renewable biomass as proposed in HR 2454; as did almost all of the national biomass community. SUNY-ESF said the bill’s proposed definition was not in the best interests of the New York-Northeastern forest community nor the entire national forest community. The SUNY-ESF academic and scientific leadership reiterated that woody biomass is a substantial, CO2-neutral renewable resource that can be used as a fuel for a variety of sustainable and environmentally sound energy applications. They urged congressional leadership to replace the HR 2454 definition with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (PL 109-58) definition as the “more perfect definition.” As a more perfect definition, the definition of biomass in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (HR 6-PL 109-58) remains the clearest and most concise definition in public law. SUNY-ESF also proposed, as an alternative starting point, the proposed definition, in a bill to amend the Clean Air Act, "The Renewable Fuel Standard Improvement Act." HR-2409.

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

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