Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 77.43
Liaison Daimon Eklund
Submission Date Oct. 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Washington, Seattle
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Christy Gullion
Federal Relations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for national, state/provincial, 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, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Advancing sustainability is one of the core principals of the University of Washington (UW). The UW is a global leader in environmental science research, education, and technology transfer. We discover and share knowledge for the sustainability of our planet. For example, in FY11, the UW joined with dozens of partners from industry and academia throughout the state to secure a $45 million competitive grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to establish a robust biorefining industry throughout the Pacific Northwest. The grant will help reduce US dependence on foreign oil, lower the carbon intensity of transportation fuels, and spur rural economic development.

The UW has three offices that coordinate to support public policy advocacy for the institution: The Offices of Federal Relations (OFR), State Relations, and Regional Relations. Within the Office of Federal Relations, the UW advocates for increased or maintained funding in the annual appropriations bills for several federal environmental and renewable energy research programs that advance sustainability. This includes programs such as the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science, DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program (EERE), Department of the Interior’s United States Geological Survey (USGS), Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

Several of the UW priority issues for the past few years have focused on sustainability and alternative energy programs. In FY14, OFR successfully advocated for more focus in marine renewable energy initiatives (i.e., wave, tidal, and off-shore wind) as well as additional federal funding for competitive grants in these areas through the DOE EERE Water & Power Program. OFR also successfully advocated for additional funding opportunities through the US Navy for marine renewable energy in FY14 and FY15. The UW has taken a leadership role in the field of marine renewable energy and OFR continually advocates this mission within Congress by sending letters of support to members encouraging various bills that would increase this funding, and even submitting legislative language for appropriations bills which would direct Congress to spend more money to expand marine and hydrokinetic research, development, and demonstration.

A new federal priority in recent years revolves around the UW Clean Energy Institute (CEI). Established by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, the mission of the CEI is to accelerate the adoption of a clean energy future by advancing next generation solar energy and electrical energy storage materials, devices and systems, as well as their integration with the grid. The CEI seeks to accomplish this mission by creating the ideas and forming the people needed to generate these innovations, while facilitating the pathways to bring them to market. While the first two years have focused on local and regional support, OFR is now adding CEI initiatives to its FY16 federal agenda.

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

In addition to the work mentioned above, the UW has taken positions on a variety of federal issues and funding levels in the previous three years. Most of our advocacy work focuses on maintaining high levels of funding for scientific research as well as financial aid and scholarship programs that benefit students. We have also supported major pieces of legislation related to higher education, STEM education, climate change, biomedical research, tech transfer, patent reform, immigration reform, tax reform, and others.

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

The University of Washington is a public entity and is prohibited from making political contributions to any candidate or campaign. Our faculty, staff, and students may make political contributions of their own choosing with their own resources without any influence from UW administration and/or leadership.

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

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