November 21, 2019

Whitehouse Bill Would Promote Sustainability on College Campuses

Higher Education Sustainability Act would reauthorize University Sustainability Program

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) today introduced legislation to expand environmental sustainability initiatives on college and university campuses.

“Colleges and universities have an important role in making their communities greener and more sustainable,” said Whitehouse.  “We need to make sure higher education institutions have the resources to invest in building effective sustainability initiatives.”

“Climate chaos is an urgent challenge that is already affecting communities in every corner of our nation from extreme wildfires, to torrential flooding, to intense winter storms,” said Merkley.  “This challenge requires a bold, decisive response from every direction.  Our colleges and universities have a key role to play in driving sustainability and tackling carbon pollution.  It’s time to restore resources that will enable these institutions to do more to combat this threat to humanity.”  

The Higher Education Sustainability Act would reauthorize the University Sustainability Program, which was established in 2008 to provide grant funding to higher education institutions and nonprofit groups for sustainability initiatives.  The bill would update the legislation to add an emphasis on growing the green workforce and creating professional development opportunities for university staff.  Despite a growing public awareness about environmental threats, Congress has not funded the University Sustainability Program since 2010.



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