Friday, July 24, 2009

UA Sustainability Council to meet at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday July 28 in room 504 of RJR, wherever that is, to discuss the climate plan below

September 2009 Sustainability Council
This plan outlines methods by which the University of Arkansas flagship campus in Fayetteville will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% between 2009 and 2021, and establishes a target date of 2040 to become climate neutral.
Climate Action Plan

University of Arkansas
Climate Action Plan

Executive summary 4
University of Arkansas Sustainability Council 6
List of figures 7
List of tables 7
Abbreviations 8
1 Introduction 9
1.1 Current resource consumption 10
1.1.1 Building and infrastructure energy 10
1.1.2 Water use 12
An energy savings performance contract will fund the installation of low flow fixtures, automatic flush valves, flow moderators and related building water conservation equipment. That work will be completed by September 2010. 12
1.1.3 Transit and transportation 12
1.2 Implementing this plan 15
1.2.1 Campus and public input 15
1.2.2 Administrative support and approval 15
1.2.3 Short-term, mid-term and long-term targets 15
1.2.4 Funding and financing 16
2 UA-F greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories 17
2.1 2002 – 2008 GHG inventories 17
2.2 Summary of key trends of GHG emissions 19
2.3 Estimated 1990 emissions 20
3 Projected campus energy demand, 2010 - 2050 20
4 State and Federal policies and GHG emissions 23
5 Actions to reduce and mitigate GHG emissions 24
5.1 Short-term actions (2009 – 2013) 26
5.2 Mid-term actions: reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2021 27
5.3 Long-term actions: achieving climate neutrality by 2040 32
6 Curriculum and education 32
7 Monitoring and reporting 33

Executive summary
In February 2007 the University of Arkansas’s flagship campus in Fayetteville, under the leadership of then-Chancellor John White, became a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). We subsequently initiated aggressive and innovative programs and structures that will lead us to climate neutrality by the middle of this century. This report outlines our short-term and mid-term means for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% below the business-as-usual level, and provides a framework for attaining a climate neutral campus as technologies, State and Federal policies and regulations, and financial instruments combine to provide means to do so.
A business-as-usual approach would result in annual GHG emissions of 250,000 metric tons CO2 equivalent by 2021. In contrast, implementation of this plan will result in annual emissions of only 125,000 MT CO2 equivalent by then. The plan to achieve climate neutrality before 2040 will be described in detail in a future revision of this document.
Our approach is sequential. First, we implement energy conservation and energy efficiency measures to buildings and transportation systems. These measures often pay for themselves in fuel and utility cost savings, and the value of social benefits and carbon emissions reductions make conservation and efficiency even more important. Much of this work has been approved and is underway, and much more will be accomplished in the next five year period under our short-term plan.
Second, we will create campus policies that facilitate energy and water savings and increase recycling. A campus building use policy, a recycling policy, a travel documentation policy, and a water conservation policy will complement our existing sustainability policies.
Third, we will pursue installation of renewable energy systems and purchase green energy from local sources. Northwest Arkansas receives abundant solar energy, over 500,000 Btu ∙ ft-2 ∙ yr-1. As technologies improve and government policies increasingly promote solar energy, we will install both solar thermal and photovoltaic arrays on campus. The wind resource is not well-documented, but several wind farm developers are collecting data in Washington and Benton Counties, and some wind professionals think that there are several class 4 (commercially viable) wind resource sites within 50 miles of the University. Poultry litter and forest resources are abundant in northwest Arkansas, and there is significant potential to use them as viable sources of biomass energy.
Forest resources across Arkansas also hold promise as sites for managing carbon sequestration projects. Forest carbon sequestration projects are financially and technically complex, and lead time to design and implement them is lengthy. But preliminary analyses suggest that sequestration through enhanced forest management yields atmospheric carbon reductions more inexpensively than most renewable energy systems (based on the costs and benefits of systems available in 2009). We will begin an active research program to assess the technical and financial feasibility of sequestering carbon in Arkansas forests.
Finally, we will acquire carbon credits and related offsets as needed to make our campus fully climate neutral within our long-term timeframe. Some emissions, such as those that result from airline travel and commuter travel, are individually generated. It is efficient, fair, and relatively inexpensive to ask travelers to offset travel-related emissions with the purchase of direct offsets. At current prices (just under $10 MTCO2e-1 for sequestration projects) most flights would cost only $5 more than they currently do by including purchase of an offset. Similar offsets might be purchased by commuters as part of the parking permit process. Air travel and commuting combine to account for over 15% of the institution’s carbon emissions.
Because the future impacts of Federal energy policies, the status of available technologies and the future of carbon markets are uncertain, the current plan provides details only for projects that we will implement before 2021. The long-term strategy, which will map our route to full climate neutrality, will be articulated in a future update of this plan.

University of Arkansas Sustainability Council
Myria Allen Faculty Senate
Catherine Baltz Alumni Association
Dennis Brewer Graduate School
Nick Brown (executive secretary) Office of Sustainability
Nilda Burgos Bumpers College of Ag, Food & Life Sciences
John Coleman City of Fayetteville
Robert Cross College of Engineering
Norm DeBriyn Razorback Foundation
Craig Edmonston College of Education & Health Professions
Chris Erwin School of Continuing Education
Uché Ewelukwa Leflar Law School
Dawn Farver Graduate Dean's Student Advisory Board
William Fleming (co-chair) Associated Student Government
Jerrid Freeman Dean of Students
Andy Gilbride Parking & Transit
Jim Hashbarger Office of Business Affairs
Bryan Hembree Honors College
Laura Jacobs University Relations
Jon Johnson (co-chair) Applied Sustainability Center
Mike Johnson (co-chair) Facilities Management
Andrew Lenarz Associated Student Government
Sarah Lewis Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods
Justin Maland Athletics Department
Tahar Messadi School of Architecture
Juanita Muckleroy Arkansas Union
Jeff Murray Walton College of Business
Felisha Perrodin Staff Senate
Susan Rousch Pat Walker Health Center
Cynthia Sagers Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
Charlotte Taylor University Development
Juana Young Office of the Dean of Libraries
Bill Zemke Chartwells

List of figures
Figure 1. Water use on the UA main campus, 2002 - 2008
Figure 2. UA-F GHG emissions by scope, 2002 – 2008.
Figure 3. Enrollment on the UA main campus.
Figure 4. GHG emissions based on growth of enrollment.
Figure 5. Planned growth of space.
Figure 6. GHG emissions based on growth of space.
Figure 7. Wedge graph of greenhouse gas emissions at the University of Arkansas, 2002 – 2008 actual, 2009 – 2021 projected.

List of tables
Table 1. GHG emissions avoided from existing projects.
Table 2. UA-F, Summary of GHG emissions, 2002 – 2008.
Table 3. GHG emissions reduction strategy, 2009 - 2014.
Table 4. GHG emissions reduction strategy, 2015 - 2021.


ACUPCC American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment
AEP American Electric Power, the parent company of SWEPCO
ASG Associated Student Government, the ‘student council’ of the University
Btu British thermal units; KBtu = thousand Btu and MMBtu = million Btu
CO2e carbon dioxide equivalent; a measure of the impact of a greenhouse gas
ECM energy conservation measure
ESPC energy savings performance contract
GHG greenhouse gas
GSF gross square feet; building space as measured by exterior building dimensions
kWpeak peak electrical production in kilowatts of power
MT metric ton, 2204 pounds
RGGI regional greenhouse gas initiative
SWEPCO Southwestern Power Electric Company, the provider of electricity to UA

Climate Action Plan
for the University of Arkansas main campus in Fayetteville

1 Introduction
In February 2007, the main campus of the University of Arkansas (UA-F) became a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, and thereby made a commitment to become a carbon neutral institution of higher learning as soon as it is practical. Being among the first one hundred signatories to make this commitment, UA-F has taken the lead in higher education in Arkansas toward developing cleaner and greener energy systems and other sustainability solutions on our campus.
By the summer of 2007, the Applied Sustainability Center in the Walton College of Business began operations, and has helped hundreds of area businesses understand how they can operate more efficiently, operate in a manner that is friendlier to local and global environments, and at the same time, sustain local communities.
In Fall 2007, a campus sustainability coordinator was appointed, and the UA Sustainability Council was subsequently formed in Spring 2008. Thirty colleges and programs were offered seats on the Council, which then began work to develop programs and projects on campus to reduce UAFs carbon footprint, and to make policy recommendations to the University Administration that, when implemented, will result in a more sustainable campus and community.
All together, over 100 projects and programs, including research, curriculum, extension, facilities, transportation, recycling and community-based projects, are underway at UA-F. Despite significant investments in campus infrastructure and dedicated commitment to energy conservation by the University administration, students, faculty, and staff, GHG emissions have risen every year. The reality is that growth in enrollment, the addition of new research and housing facilities, increased complexity of research facilities, and increasing per capita energy demands caused by electronics-dependent lifestyles have combined to increase fossil fuel use and associated emissions of GHG. A comprehensive and focused climate action plan that provides long-term and clear benefits to all of the University’s stakeholders is needed to achieve our goal of climate neutrality.
To operationalize the ACUPCC commitment, the University is developing policies and implementing energy load management strategies, is putting into place extensive energy conservation and efficiency mechanisms, installing renewable energy systems, purchasing green power from area producers, developing carbon sequestration projects, and purchasing carbon offsets and/or renewable energy credits. This report presents the initial steps being taken to meet the commitment, and describes what students, staff, and faculty are doing to reduce the University’s carbon footprint.
To move from our current level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 188,968 metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MT CO2 e) in academic year 2008 to a climate neutral future, we will
• develop policies and communications that engender energy conservation;
• invest in conservation and energy efficiency measures on campus, including upgrades of campus energy delivery infrastructure;
• develop new partnerships that will result in acquisition of green power;
• develop and implement carbon sequestration projects; and
• purchase carbon offsets and renewable energy credits.

1.1 Current resource consumption
1.1.1 Building and infrastructure energy
In 2008, buildings on the main campus used 128,049,425 kWh of electricity, all purchased from Southwestern Power Electric Company (SWEPCO), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP). As SWEPCO’s generation portfolio consists of 90% coal-fired electricity, use of electricity results in 1.02 kg kWh-1 of CO2e emissions, which is about 15% above the national average.
Purchased electricity accounts for about two-thirds of the University’s GHG emissions. Total campus space is 7,568,076 gross square feet (GSF), and building energy use is 69 kBtu GSF-1 yr-1, far under USDoE’s cited national average of 280 kBtu GSF-1 ( for annual building energy use on university campuses. GHG emissions from building energy use are 20.15 MT CO2e ∙ 1000 GSF-1 yr-1.
The campus is growing rapidly. From 2002 through 2008, space increased from 6.2 million GSF to 7.6 million GSF, a 22% jump. During this six-year period, building energy use rose 20%. Campus policy commits new construction to meet LEED silver or Two Green Globes standards, and energy use per GSF will surely continue to drop over time. But a long-term goal of becoming a campus of 25,000 students and a campus of 10 million GSF of space assures that campus growth will outstrip gains that building energy conservation and efficiency will produce. Therefore, while conservation and efficiency is an essential base for eventual renewable energy systems, energy conservation measures will not be sufficient to reduce total emissions below current levels.
In 2005, the Arkansas State legislature passed Act 1980, which authorizes energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) to be implemented by public institutions. Under these contracts, engineering firms guarantee energy savings that accrue from energy conservation measures implemented by institutions. Over the past four years, UA-F has developed three ESPC projects that when completed will reduce GHG emissions by 20,000 MT CO2e yr-1 below the level produced by business-as-usual energy use. The three ESPC projects combine to make a $40 million investment in energy conservation improvements and energy infrastructure upgrades on our campus.
By the time that UA-F signed the ACUPCC in 2007, significant energy conservation programs had already been implemented on our campus, including central plant upgrades, lighting efficiency improvements, and building energy upgrades. Over the past two years, other projects have been approved, and implementation of those projects is underway.

Table 1. GHG emissions avoided from existing projects.
Project description GHG emissions avoided (in MT CO2e yr-1) Cost
ESPC I, central plant boiler and chiller upgrades* -2170 MT $14 million
ESPC II, Poultry Science Center 4,528 MT $3.6 million
ESPC III, all major educational and general buildings 19,373 MT $23.9 million
Relamping upgrades, exterior 508 MT $.3 million
Total 21,731 MT $41.8 million

* Central plant projects provide financial savings on utility bills, and the conversion from natural gas to heat pump chillers results in a negative GHG balance.

1.1.2 Water use
Although water conservation has not been a subject of focus and investment over the past few years, per capita water use has dropped for five of the six most recent years. The total of all uses, including personal and research uses, central utility uses, landscape irrigation and athletics fields maintenance was just over 10,000 gallons per student (based on total fall enrollment) in 2008, which is down from over 14,000 earlier in the decade. Central utilities used 35 – 50% of all water during most reporting periods from 2002 through 2008. Irrigation accounts for about 30% of total water use.

Figure 1. Water use on the UA main campus, 2002 – 2008.

An energy savings performance contract will fund the installation of low flow fixtures, automatic flush valves, flow moderators and related building water conservation equipment. That work will be completed by September 2010.
The quantity of water used can be minimized by using non-potable water for irrigation, including lake and river water or rain water, the installation of water saving fixtures, re-use of gray water in toilets and for irrigation, use of xeric or low-input landscaping, and intention conservation by personal water users. But water use also varies significantly from year to year, depending on weather conditions and the subsequent need for irrigation and utility water (chilled water and steam) It also varies from campus to campus, depending on whether athletic fields are natural turf or synthetic, whether heating and cooling systems are building level or district systems, whether non-potable water is available for irrigation needs, and research consumption needs. Recognizing that comparisons are limiting in those ways, several published averages are shown below.
University of Wisconsin at River Falls 10,000 gal/student/yr
North Carolina State University 13,000 gal/student/yr
University of Virginia 23,000 gal/student/yr
1.1.3 Transit and transportation
Razorback Transit provided 1.2 million free rides to students and members of the Fayetteville community in FY2008, which kept thousands of cars away from gas stations and out of our parking lots. Free rides on Razorback Transit buses allow thousands of Fayetteville residents to shop and make their way to vital services throughout the city.
Ten Razorback Transit routes provide service throughout Fayetteville. The twenty-one bus fleet that serves these routes used 98,021 gallons of diesel fuel, resulting in 961 MT CO2e. Problems with gaskets and seals and with cold weather performance limit the feasibility of retrofitting the existing fleet for biodiesel use. Even if those issues could be overcome, there is almost no supply of biodiesel in northwest Arkansas currently, and none on the short-term horizon. UA Parking and Transit operates several programs that are designed to conserve reduce the use of fossil energy and GHG emission, including a bicycle loan program (Razorbikes), bicycle racks on Razorback Transit buses, and a rideshare program (GoLoco). Over 500 bicycle loops are installed at the 40 busiest buildings on campus, and a bike shelter on the north end of campus accommodates 100 bicycles out of the weather. While these programs promote energy conservation behavior, they thus far combine to do little to avoid CO2e emissions.
UA maintains a fleet of 17 passenger cars, 70 work trucks, 17 vans, and 43 off-road vehicles that are used for maintenance and operations. Those vehicles used 208,905 gallons of unleaded gasoline in FY08 and produced 2889 MT CO2e in GHG emissions.
To date, electric vehicles have not been found suitable for use on campus, because 1) the hilly terrain limits speed and battery durability, and 2) the higher initial cost limits their acceptability to budget managers. It is likely that electric vehicles will replace off-road diesel vehicles sometime between 2014 and 2021. It is difficult to predict, however, when the life cycle analysis will make their purchase viable for our campus, or which models will become practical first.
Similarly, as hybrid and alternative-fuel system technologies continue to improve and become more reasonably priced, we expect that existing staff car and work truck fleets will gradually be replaced with vehicles that are fueled by hybrid systems, flex-fuels, biodiesel, ethanol, and hydrogen fuels.
Emissions from commuter travel rose by 8.8% from FY2000 to FY2008. This increase is correlated with the increase in student population, and is expected to increase further until the UA-F student enrollment goal of 25,000 students is achieved. Current parking supply is often filled beyond capacity. A campaign that increases awareness of sustainable transportation practices and provides incentives to participate in “environmentally friendly” transportation will be implemented.
Programs will be developed to increase the adoption of environmentally friendly healthy travel behavior. Disincentives to one-to-a-car commuting will be developed and incentives to carpooling, alternative fuels use, zip car use, bicycling and walking will be developed.
Potential parking management changes
• Creation of incentives for carpoolers and owners of hybrid, high mileage/efficiency or alternative fuel vehicles. Two types of incentives will be offered:
o Parking permits at a 25% discount from standard rates; and
o High fuel efficiency vehicle parking lots.
• Payment to fulltime students who do not buy a parking permit. Stanford has implemented a program that pays students who do not buy parking permits $160, and it has been successful.
• Create an attractive, easily navigable, campus carpool on-line system.
• Improve existing bicycle programs, by increasing the number of bike racks.
• Implement a ban on campus parking for freshman students who reside on campus.
• Improve existing transit bus system
o Install a remote lot that has a shuttle with a direct route to the bus depot next to the Union on campus (no stops in-between)
• Consider a ban on campus parking permits for all members of the campus population who live within X miles of the main campus
• Provide zip car rental services for campus users.
• Create infrastructure to support hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles, such as charging posts and alternative fuel pumps (since there is now an alternative fuel pump at the station on the way to Greenland, would it be possible to find out their supplier, and possible install a fueling station for that type of fuel here on campus?)
• Provide additional viable housing options on or near campus
• Implement telecommuting/compressed work schedules for faculty/staff
• Provide improved, readily accessible and reliable technologies for virtual meetings.
• Implement landscaping practices to reduce the need for mowing/weed-eating/etc. (rain gardens)

1.2 Implementing this plan
1.2.1 Campus and public input
In Spring 2009, UA-F held the inaugural Students F1rst Sustainability Competition, which solicited ideas to save energy and water on campus, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with innovative programs and projects developed by interdisciplinary student teams. Ideas obtained from proposals submitted in that competition have been integrated into this plan.
A draft of this document was posted on the UA Sustainability SharePoint site ( from May through August 2009. The Sustainability Council discussed the approach, outline, and an early draft of this document at meetings on May 19 and July 28, 2009, and public input was obtained from the Fayetteville community at the Fayetteville Public Library in August 2009. Principles of the integrated design charette process were integrated into public input forums.
1.2.2 Administrative support and approval
The Chancellor’s Executive Committee, which consists of the Chancellor and the campus’s five Vice Chancellors, considers policy proposals from the Sustainability Council as well as other campus committees. The Executive Committee has recognized that the strategies in this plan represent an appropriate direction for our campus, and endorse it as a means for meeting our responsibilities to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.
1.2.3 Short-term, mid-term and long-term targets
The commitment to become carbon neutral ‘as soon as it is practical’ is proffered by signatories of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment as an intentionally flexible trajectory.
By 2013 we will reduce GHG emissions to a level 20% below the business as usual level, and will emit 160,000 MT CO2e or less.
By 2021, operations of the U of A campus will emit 125,000 MT CO2e (the 1990 emissions level) or less. 2021 will mark the University of Arkansas’s 150th year as an institution, and as our State’s flagship campus of higher learning. By 2021, a business-as-usual trajectory would result in 225,000 MT CO2e of GHG emissions, or nearly twice the 1990 level. This plan shows how the U of A will reduce, offset, and otherwise avoid 100,000 MT CO2e by 2021, to meet this target.
By 2040, the U of A campus will avoid and reduce emissions, purchase green power, install and/or manage renewable energy projects, develop and manage sequestration projects, and offset emissions through financial and policy mechanisms at levels that, according to goals and metrics established by ACUPCC, will make no net contribution to GHG emissions.

1.2.4 Funding and financing
Funds that are saved as energy conservation and efficiency reduce utility bills will be available for many other purposes on campus, including enhanced salaries, more job opportunities, reduced tuition and fees, and improved facilities.
Energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) allow the University to invest in energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy systems at no front end cost, and the investment in those technologies is recovered directly from energy cost savings. UA Facilities has leveraged $40 million under three ESPCs, and additional funding will be secured as Athletics, Housing, Parking & Transit, the Arkansas Union, and other auxiliary units establish ESPCs in their facilities. Up to $10 million in additional investment may be leveraged over the next four years through new ESPCs.
Investments in photovoltaic, wind and biomass energy systems will become much more attractive as carbon emissions acquire additional market value through regulatory or legal actions. If carbon markets become regulated in the US over the next couple of years, initial prices are likely to be $20 - $50 per metric ton of carbon. As carbon markets become stronger, and when the transition is made from voluntary to regulated markets, avoided CO2 emissions will have fungible value. We therefore include the value of emissions avoided as a financial asset in calculating the net present value of proposed installations. This change will result in the designation of capital improvement funds to fund renewable energy systems to power the campus.
Across the nation, students have levied voluntary and mandatory fees on themselves to support the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems on campuses (
In a Fall 2008 poll by the UA Associated Student Government (ASG), more students (47%) identified sustainability (motion sensor lighting, relamping, increased recycling bins) as their most important issue than any other topic. Two-thirds of all students are willing to pay some additional fee to fund sustainability projects on campus, and one-quarter are willing to pay $0.50 to $1.00 per credit hour more. A student fee of $0.50 per credit hour would raise $120,000 for sustainability work on campus.
To meet the financial challenges of implementing the twenty-one projects outlined here, financial resources will be developed from:
• Special funds, including funding secured under energy savings performance contracts, through which lower utility bills pay directly for conservation and renewable energy projects as cost savings accrue;
• Alumni, who continuously donate to causes that strengthen the long-term viability of the University;
• Students, who contribute to sustainability efforts at colleges and universities across the nation, through voluntary and mandatory self-levies, through special fees and through class gifts;
• Capital improvement, maintenance and operations, and deferred maintenance budgets, which will purchase hardware as they fit into the Campus Strategic Plan and other long-term infrastructure timelines;
• Staff and faculty, in the forms of travel offsets, parking fees, and similar levies that represent pay-as-you-go payments;
• Grants and contracts, from government agencies and private foundations that support green energy and carbon reduction programs; and
• Private and corporate contributors and donors, who see value in becoming part of the effort to fulfill the University’s commitment to responsible energy management.
When all stakeholders make substantive contributions to the development and implementation of solutions, acceptance of a successful long-term strategy is likely.

2 UA-F greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories
2.1 2002 – 2008 GHG inventories
Over the past year, a team of graduate students, engineering faculty, facilities managers, and consultants have put together GHG emissions inventories for the years 2002 through 2008. The inventories were conducted in accordance with procedures developed by Clean Air Cool Planet, which provides a campus calculator.
The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville is the flagship campus of the UA system, and is often referred to as the main campus. 19,021 students registered for Fall 09 classes, making it the state’s largest campus. Although the Arkansas Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AAREC, known locally as ‘The Farm’) is only two miles north of the main campus, the Division of Agriculture is administratively separate from UA-F, and its facilities, farmland, and forests are not included in these GHG emissions inventories. For purposes of defining and tracking UA-F GHG emissions, the campus is defined as 157 buildings located on a 345 acre main campus, plus four buildings on a 125 acre campus in south Fayetteville, the Arkansas Research and Technology Park, along with the transportation systems that serve them.
A summary of GHG emissions from UA-F is shown below.
Table 2. UA-F, Summary of GHG emissions, 2002 – 2008. (Sightlines 2009)
Metric 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Scope 1
Agriculture GHG (MTCDE) 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Fleet GHG (MTCDE) 2721 2873 4030 4062 3851 3871 3849
Refrigerant GHG (MTCDE) 0 0 0 4722 1180 0 1
Scope 1 Utilities GHG (MTCDE) 28622 30540 25420 24180 23368 25296 27648
Total 31348 33418 29455 32969 28404 29172 31503

Scope 2
Electricity GHG (MTCDE) 98237 99381 113780 116614 115478 117919 124818
Purchased Chilled Water GHG (MTCDE) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Steam Purchased GHG (MTCDE) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 98237 99381 113780 116614 115478 117919 124818

Scope 3
Other Scope 3 GHG (MTCDE) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Solid Waste GHG (MTCDE) 753 753 753 753 792 714 693
Total Air GHG (MTCDE) 13815 13815 13815 13815 13815 13815 15624
Total Commuting GHG (MTCDE) 14996 14924 14682 15235 15636 15787 16330
Total 29564 29492 29250 29803 30243 30316 32647

Total GHG Emissions
Gross GHG Emissions (MTCDE) 159149 162291 172485 179386 174125 177407 188968

Total Offsets (MTCDE) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Net GHG Emissions (MTCDE) 159149 162291 172485 179386 174125 177407 188968

A summary by scope (category of emissions) shows that natural gas use and transportation energy expenditures have been steady over the past six years, while the use of purchased electricity has risen by 25%.

Figure 2. UA-F GHG emissions by scope, 2002 – 2008.

2.2 Summary of key trends of GHG emissions
Having developed GHG emissions inventories for a six-year period from 2002 through 2008, we can observe several trends in campus energy use and GHG emissions.
• Although space on our campus grew by 21.5% and fall enrollment was up 19.7% between 2002 and 2008, GHG emissions rose by only 18.7%. Building energy use was up only 17.6% during the six-year period.
• Over 90% of our total energy use is building energy use. Razorback Transit, fuels used by commuters to and from campus, airline travel and other energy uses account for under 10% of the total.
• The use of natural gas on campus declined by 7% between 2002 and 2008.
• GHG emissions attributable to solid waste declined by 8% over the six year period.
• Because of a growth in enrollment, emissions due to commuting rose by 8.8% during the six year period.
• Despite $17 million of investments in on-campus energy efficiency and conservation, GHG emissions have increased 25% over the past decade.
• We have established a goal to increase enrollment by 6,000 students over the next decade. This makes our commitment to reduce GHG emissions 50% below the business-as-usual level by 2021 more difficult.
• UA-F has not yet initiated the use of offsets or sequestration as tools to minimize GHG emissions.

2.3 Estimated 1990 emissions
As 1990 was the year that the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated and has become a baseline year for many purposes, UA-F will use the 1990 emissions level as an interim emissions target. Based on available data for enrollment, building space and utility bills, GHG emissions were approximately 125,000 MT CO2 e in 1990.

3 Projected campus energy demand, 2010 - 2050
The master plan for the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville projects that the campus will grow significantly in building space and in enrollment over the next ten to twenty years. In an attempt to improve the proportion of Arkansans who have a college education, the main campus has established a goal of enrolling 25,000 students by the year 2021. There are no enrollment goals beyond 2021, and this plan assumes that enrollment will not rise significantly between 2021 and 2050.

Figure 3. Enrollment on the UA main campus.

We have detailed data for campus energy uses from 2002 through 2008. Based on extrapolations from those data, we expect a level of 270,000 MT CO2 e under a business-as-usual energy use scenario when enrollment reaches 25,000 students.

Figure 4. GHG emissions projection based on enrollment.

To accommodate classroom space and other facilities for 6,000 additional students, the main campus will expand its current capacity of 7.66 million GSF to about 8.5 million GSF by 2021 and 10 million GSF by 2050. Extrapolations from 2002 – 2008 datasets show that a campus of 8.5 million GSF campus would emit 220,000 MT CO2 e yr-1 and a 10 million GSF campus would emit 260,000 MT CO2 e yr-1.
Figure 5. Planned growth of space on the UA main campus.

Figure 6. GHG emissions based on the growth of space.

4 State and Federal policies and GHG emissions
There is little question that state and federal GHG emissions policy will influence the capability of the University of Arkansas Fayetteville campus in reaching its GHG management goals. Whether governed by the voluntary carbon markets found in the Chicago Carbon Exchange, the attraction of private treaties or the mandates of carbon cap and trade or carbon tax legislation, the landscape of carbon management decision-making is in a state of rapid change. Even without the advent of new legislation, the rules are changing for carbon markets. New scientific understanding changes the standards of quantity and permanence in carbon sequestration. New players in the marketplace bring different long term financial and environmental goals. International influence and markets bring worldwide GHG management goals home to impact the financial decision-making of United States and Arkansas based companies. Add to these policy uncertainties the changing technologies available to GHG managers and the management control of future emissions becomes even more uncertain.
This uncertainty is not particularly bad. Technological advances, in some ways driven by markets and public perception of need, give us traction. There is a continuing tension toward reducing or capturing GHG emissions. While GHG specific policy gets much of the public attention relative to GHG management, actions across a spectrum of policy arenas continues to reduce GHG emissions. Some examples include:
• Fuel standards legislation and incentives for alternative fuels development at both state and national levels
• Conservation easement tax credits and other land and water conservation incentives
• State and federal farm legislation focused on conservation of wetlands, riparian zone protection, wildlife habitat protection and reforestation
• Research incentives for bio-fuel and bio-energy development and systems deployment
• Increased fuel/mileage standards for cars and light trucks
• Urban stormwater management rules, financial incentives and penalties
• Carbon capture and storage, nuclear power and other alternative energy development incentives
• Policies that enable privately funded voluntary, incentive based sequestration strategies
Control of GHG emissions resultant from the day to day operation of the University of Arkansas Fayetteville campus is in large part determined by the energy sources available to the system. As the complex of energy production systems expands to include, wind, solar, bio-based fuels, advanced hydrokinetic, earth linked thermal, etc. and new mandates require reduction in GHG emissions from existing coal fired generation capacity this source based influence will decline, giving the University more finite control of the GHG emissions future.
Even as the discussion of alternative strategies for GHG emissions limitations continues at the federal level, states are taking charge. Three groups of states and Canadian territories spanning the width of the United States have organized or are in the process of organizing market based GHG emissions cap and trading systems. RGGI (the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) is the product of cooperation between 10 Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states that are interested in creating new green jobs and spurring innovative developments in clean energy.
The Western Climate Initiative includes six western states and the provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba. The partnering entities have agreed to the common purpose of a cap and trade program designed to meet their long term GHG management objectives.
Five states are actively involved in a Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord and an additional three states are involved as observers. By the close of 2008 there were a total of 22 states committed to regional carbon markets with an additional eight states acting as observers. This initiative by states is a strong indicator of the changing GHG policy landscape in the United States. It also provides new incentive for investment in technologies that increase efficiencies and reduce emissions. This combination of policy and technology change paints a bright future for GHG emissions reductions, but leaves unanswered the questions of which alternatives will emerge as the policy or technology of choice.
A recent added impetus for the changing tension toward national GHG policy is an announcement by EPA. With White House backing, the Environmental Protection Agency announced in mid-April 2009 that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are a significant threat to human health and thus will be listed as pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
This combination of state-based policy development, technology advancement and new federal agency interpretation of existing policy means continued movement toward national consensus on GHG policy. As stated earlier, the state of carbon markets, and the extent to which they will affect UA’s option to pursue carbon reduction options and which policy alternative we will pursue. The experience of our state based policy “experiments” provides the laboratory from which our best practice solutions will come. We should remain diligent observers and in the tradition of our University heritage “take good notes.”

5 Actions to reduce and mitigate GHG emissions
To reduce GHG emissions and our institutional carbon footprint, the University of Arkansas will implement five types of projects and programs.
The University will create and take advantage of energy saving policies. We will assess federal and state energy conservation policies, and develop ways to take advantage of financial incentives that they provide. We will also develop campus water conservation and waste minimization policies.
We will install energy conservation and efficiency systems and devices on campus buildings and in our transportation systems. From 2005 through 2010, we have implemented three energy savings performance contracts that have resulted in installation of $40 million in energy conservation and efficiency measures on campus.
Facilities Management, Parking and Transit, and other relevant departments will purchase and install and/or otherwise acquire power from renewable energy systems. Solar energy, wind power, and biomass energy systems each have potential to power the buildings and transportation systems of our University.
We will offset and mitigate carbon debits with carbon sequestration projects. Forests and agricultural soils provide opportunities for carbon sequestration. The University will develop partnerships and other business relationships that will facilitate acquisition of carbon credits through lands that we purchase, lease, or otherwise manage for the primary purpose of carbon sequestration.
Finally, if projects and programs in the categories above do not fully offset our greenhouse gas inventory, we will purchase carbon credits through green tags (renewable energy credits), carbon credits from voluntary or regulated exchanges, and related financial tools.
Figure 7. Greenhouse gas emissions at the University of Arkansas, 2002 – 2008 actual, 2009 – 2021 projected.

5.1 Short-term actions (2009 – 2013)
Over the next four years, UA will implement projects that begin to reduce GHG emissions on campus and in transportation systems that bring workers and students to campus. Our initial actions will include:
• complete installation of ESPC III, which will result in avoidance of nearly 20,000 MT CO2 e yr-1 in emissions;
• development of additional energy savings performance contracts for Auxiliary facilities, including buildings managed by Housing, Athletics, the Arkansas Union, and Parking and Transit, for up to $10 million in additional energy improvements on campus;
• installation of one or more arrays of photovoltaic panels on campus, totaling 25 kWpeak capacity;
• doubling the number of bicycling commuters to and from campus, through improved services and incentives;
• doubling the amount of recycled materials on campus, through an improved Razorback Recycling program and a new campus recycling policy; and
• reduction of computer energy use by 30%, through innovative networking, server sharing, and software that controls networked displays and printers.
By implementing these measures, we will avoid emission of over 30,000 MT CO2 e yr-1 compared to business as usual. We therefore expect to emit 160,000 MT CO2 e or less by 2013.
Campus policies can also reduce CO2e emissions, by facilitating direct energy conservation in buildings and on the road, by allowing the direct purchase of green energy, by requiring green equipment purchases, and by increased recycling and water conservation.

5.2 Mid-term actions: reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2021
About half of current GHG emissions can be avoided at an average cost of $30 ∙ MT CO2e-1, by carrying out twenty-one projects. A few of these projects are already underway, and several can be implemented without special funding. Although this plan reveals initial costs and annual costs for developing and managing carbon reduction projects, it does not identify specific sources of funding for individual projects. (There are a few exceptions to this, such as the funding mechanism that is automatically tied to energy savings performance contracts.)

Table 3. Short-term GHG emissions reduction strategy, 2010 - 2015
Initial cost Annual cost $/MT CO2e avoided MT CO2e avoided yr-1 timeline
Campus policies
1. Building energy and use policy $10,000 $0 $0 5,000 2011
2. Power management for electronic equipment $10,000 $0 $0 3,000 2011
3. Parking restrictions analysis pending

Conservation and efficiency
4. Replace diesel bus fuel with CNG $1,500,000 ($125,000) ($333) 150 2012 - 2014
5. Waste oil to space heat $20,000 ($1,500) ($17) 30 2011
6. Trayless dining $0 $0 $0 41 2008
7. Building energy dashboard $40,000 $4,000 $2 2,600 2011
8. Energy savings performance contracts (auxiliaries) $10,000,000 $0 $63 8,000 2010 - 2012
9. Energy savings performance contracts (general & educational) $40,000,000 $0 $106 18,813 2008 - 2010
10. Increased recycling $0 $38,000 $109 350 2011
11. Food waste to compost $10,000 $10,000 $256 41 2010

Renewable energy
12. Campus WVO to biodiesel $15,000 ($5,000) ($85) 50 2009
13. Area restaurants' WVO to biodiesel $10,000 $0 $5 100 2012
14. On-campus wind generators $36,000 $500 $128 18 2012
15. 25 kW photovoltaic array $150,000 $200 $197 39 2012

16. Improved forest management analysis pending 2012

Purchased offsets
17. Pay offsets for air travel $0 $145,303 $9 15,624 2011
18. Commuter offsets with parking permits $0 $151,869 $9 16,330 2011

Totals $51,801,000 $218,372 $40 70,186
Table 4.Mid-term GHG emissions reduction strategy, 2016 – 2021.
Initial cost Annual cost $/MT CO2e avoided MT CO2e avoided yr-1 Timeline
Campus policies
19. Parking restrictions analysis pending
20. Replace diesel bus fuel with CNG $500,000 ($125,000) ($667) 150 2015 - 2021

Conservation and efficiency
21. Transportation fuels conservation analysis pending

Renewable energy
22. 15% renewable energy from SWEPCO $93,000 $5 18,722 2015 - 2021
23. 250 kW photovoltaic array $1,000,000 $500 $131 386 2015
24. Replace gasoline with rapidly renewable fuels analysis pending 1,800 2020

25. Improved forest management analysis pending 2015 - 2021

Purchased offsets

Totals $1,500,000 -$31,500 $2 21,058

Notes to Table 3

1. Building energy and use policy. A policy that establishes uniform temperature set points and building use times for all general and educational use buildings will save up to 5,000 MT CO2e yr-1. About $10,000 in staff time will be required to draft and establish a campus energy use policy. After the initial effort, no further expenses will be required.
2. Power management for plug loads. A project implemented by the Walton College of Business IT department has reduced electrical loads by 600,000 kWh yr-1 or 60 MT CO2e yr-1. By expanding this program to be campus-wide, savings will be 300 MT CO2e yr-1. About $10,000 in staff time will be required to draft and establish a campus energy use policy. After the initial effort, no further expenses will be required.
3. Commuter, parking, .
4. Compressed natural gas (CNG) emits about 85% as much GHG as gasoline, and there are also energy security and energy supply benefits to conversion from gasoline and diesel. CNG currently costs $1.11 gal-1, but the comparative cost of CNG and diesel over a long term is very uncertain. Ten new buses @ $50,000 additional per bus by 2015 = $500,000 + $1,000,000 for UA's cost share of a fueling station = $1,500,000. See for more information about the economics of CNG buses.
5. Transit accrues 3,000 gal yr-1 waste oil. Waste oil space heaters (120,000 Btu hr-1 units) cost $2,500 each, burn 0.5 gal hr-1. For a heating season of 750 hrs, 3,000 gal will fuel 8 heaters. Assumes that waste oil as a fuel is worth $0.50 gal-1.
6. Trayless dining , initiated by Chartwells in Fall 08, reduced food waste from 200,000 lbs yr-1 to 100,000 lbs yr-1. One MT food waste creates 0.82 MT CO2e (USEPA. 2002. Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases: A Life-Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks). 50 MT food scraps avoided ∙ 0.82 MT CO2e/MT food scraps = 41 MT CO2e yr-1.
7. University Housing operates 20 residence halls that cover 1.45 MM GSF or 18.9% of total campus space. A Lucid building energy dashboard costs $40,000 for 20 buildings, and has an annual M&O cost of $4,000. Five colleges and universities report average of 11% savings in dorm competitions ( 11% savings ∙ 125,000 MT CO2e yr-1 for electricity emissions ∙ 0.189 (housing/total campus) = 2600 MT CO2e yr-1 avoided by installing dashboards in 20 campus residence halls.
8. Projected savings based on a guarantee by an engineering firm under an existing campus-wide energy savings performance contract.
9. Based on energy savings calculated by Energy Systems Group and Johnson Controls Inc (ESCOs), and on CO2 emissions calculated from central plant upgrades.
10. Double the current rate of diversion from landfills from 30% to 60%. Add one worker fully loaded.
11. The project will be a Chartwells/Facilities partnership. The installation cost of $8,000 includes delivery of an Earth Tub from Boston Mountain Solid Waste District and plumbing and electrical work on site. A 0.25 FTE worker, needed to collect food waste and maintain the tub, costs $10,000 yr-1 when fringe benefits and indirect costs are included.
12. Already in place; $15,000 initial installation cost. 100 gal week-1 processed; $1 gal-1 cost to refine saves $1 gal-1 or more below diesel costs. 5,000 gal yr-1 = 50,000 kg CO2e avoided yr-1.
13. Assumes an additional 200 gal week-1 WVO from area eateries. The incremental cost of installation would be lower than the original unit cost as the existing facility could be expanded. This assumes that purchase, pickup and project management would cost $1 gal-1.
14. Wind energy financial analysis details pending.
15. In northwest AR, 1 kWpeak of photovoltaic panel produces 126 kWh mo-1. 126 kWh ∙ kWpeak-1 ∙ mo-1 ∙ 25 kWpeak ∙ 12 mo yr-1 ∙ 1.02 kg CO2e kWh /1000 kg MT-1 = 39 MT CO2e avoided yr-1 ∙ kWpeak-1.
16. Improved forest management financial analysis pending.
17. Based on the prices published at, sequestration projects begin at $9.30 MT-1 from GreenFleet.
18. The same offset purchased for airline offsets can be purchased to neutralize commuter emissions.

Notes to Table 4

19. See note 3.
20. Ten new buses @ $50,000 additional per bus between 2015 and 2021 = $500,000 initial cost. $125,000 annual savings results from 100,000 gal (equivalent) per year; CNG is currently $1.11 gal-1 (equiv) compared to $2.50 for diesel.
21. Transportation fuels analysis pending.
22. SWEPCO will provide green power as required under a cap-and-trade program. 124MM kWh yr-1 emissions from electricity ∙ 0.10 of the portfolio ∙ $0.005 kWh additional cost = $62,000 yr-1 additional electricity cost.
23. This assumes that PV will cost $4/kWpeak installed by 2015, and will have efficiency similar to current technology.
24. The current GHG liability for fleet fuels is 1800 MT CO2e yr-1. The extent to which biodiesel, ethanol and other rapidly renewable transportation fuels will become viable for our fleet over the next decade is uncertain.
25. Detailed forest sequestration analysis, based on improved forest management, is pending.

5.3 Long-term actions: achieving climate neutrality by 2040

By 2021 the University will have reduced GHG emissions to half the level that would have been emitted under a business-as-usual scenario. Most of the practical strategies and technologies related to energy conservation and energy efficiency will be in place by then. Renewable energy applications will be available in the form of technologies that are not yet foreseeable. The technical viability, market prices, and policy supports for carbon sequestration in soils, on farms, and on forests will have costs and values that are currently not predictable. UA will certainly deploy a combination of purchased green energy, generated green energy (from on- and off-campus), sequestration projects and purchased offsets to become climate neutral by 2040. The mix of technologies, policy instruments and market mechanisms that we will use will be determined by future revisions of this plan.

6 Curriculum and education
The University of Arkansas offers several degree programs that provide knowledge and capacity to manage tomorrow’s world more sustainably, including a PhD in Environmental Dynamics and a PhD in agronomy with a specialization in Environmental Sciences.
UA operates at least fourteen centers and programs across colleges of engineering, architecture, arts & sciences, business and agriculture that carry out research, extension, and educational efforts related to sustainability. Several of these centers have been developed specifically to address sustainability topics.
The Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability (CARS) works to increase prosperity for rural Arkansas through sustainable practices. The Center provides leadership in Arkansas and the world in balancing the demands of community, agriculture and ecosystems in order to meet the needs of current generations while enhancing the opportunity for future generations to meet their needs.
The Applied Sustainability Center is translating Arkansas' legacy of conservation and the ingenious use and reuse of resources into best management practices for businesses that will increase their long-term profitability and at the same time benefit society through more judicious use of land, water, air, fossil fuels and other natural resources. The Applied Sustainability Center works with a wide range of partners to facilitate the rapid development of sustainable business practices and promote their application across the retail and consumer goods industries.

In the Fall of 2010, the University of Arkansas expects to offer a Professional Science Masters degree in Sustainability Analysis. The program proposal has submitted it to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, and we expect to open the program to the first cohort of students in Fall 2010. A new course, Fundamentals of Sustainability, will focus on greenhouse gas management and climate action. Additional core courses are Sustainability and Ethics, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Environmental Politics and Life Cycle Assessment. Graduates of this program should be able to understand and appreciate the basic principles of economics, markets, ecosystem services, resource management, economic prosperity and related ethical issues; design and execute experiments with minimal supervision; participate effectively as members of interdisciplinary teams, prepare technical reports, project plans, and regulatory documents; prepare and present information to a wide variety of constituents, from customers to stockholders to the general public; and to apply their knowledge of sustainability and skills to various areas within an institutional framework, be that a company, non-governmental organization (NGO), community organization, or governmental organization.
A capstone project will focus on a locally relevant, applied problem in sustainability. Students will learn how to assess the impact that personal, professional and corporate activities have on global climate change. The program will train students to become sustainability officers in corporations and organizations, community leaders, entrepreneurs, and developers of green programs and organizations.

7 Monitoring and reporting
The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment calls for annual GHG emissions inventories and bi-annual updates to climate action plans. This report is submitted in September, 2009, and progress reports on our institutional GHG emissions inventory and modifications to this plan will be submitted every two years beginning in September 2011. A comprehensive update of this plan will be undertaken as the short-term activities are successfully implemented, and this plan will likely be updated in 2013 or 2014. In the interim, specific strategies may be changed to facilitate more rapid progress, to lower overall costs of reducing carbon emissions, to respond to newly emerging technologies, and to improve financial and other benefits to the University community.
Copies of this report, including background materials, are available to the general public on the UA Sustainability Council’s website, Members of the UA community can find this report, its supporting documents, and related work undertaken by the Sustainability Council at the Council’s SharePoint site,

UA Climate Action Plan schedule, July 20 – September 15, 2009

July 20 -2 4 University Relations review
July 28 Sustainability Council meeting
July 29 CAP Committee
July 30 submit to Excom
August 3 Excom review
August 7 Excom feedback
August 18 Public input - Fayetteville Public Library, Walker Room, 12 noon – 1 and 6:30 – 7:45
August 19 new grad student orientation
August 20 ASG leadership review
August 25 Sustainability Council meeting
August 27 Campus input session
August 28 resubmit to Excom
August 31 Excom review
September 3 CAP Committee
September 15 Submission to ACUPCC

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A faithful response to global warming

RE: National Council of Churches Renewable Energy Meeting - A Faithful Response to Global Warming‏
From: Gladys tiffany (
Sent: Thu 7/23/09 10:40 AM
To: Aubrey Shepherd (
It's at St. Thomas Episcopal in Springdale beginning at 2:00. Here's the agenda:

A Faithful Response to Global Warming:
A National Energy Policy Based upon the Values of Justice and Sustainability

St. Thomas Episcopal Church
Springdale, AR
Thursday, July 23, 2009
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM


2:00 pm to 2:10 pm - Welcome - Ellen McNulty

2:10 pm to 2:45 pm - Defining the Problem – Robert McAfee, Repower Arkansas

2:45 pm to 3:05 pm – Energy Efficiency Legislation – Eddy Moore, Arkansas Aububon

3:05 pm to 3:25 pm - Developing A Community Wind Farm– Nathan Wilson and Benton Anderson, Winds of Change

3:25 pm to 3:30 pm - Break

3:30 pm to 3:55 pm - St. Thomas Wind Turbines – Stephan Pollard, Arkansas Alternative Energy Commissioner and Trem Well Energy LLC

3:55 pm to 4:10 pm - U of A Applied Sustainability Center – Michele Halsell

4:10 pm to 4:25 pm - Interfaith Power and Light: Starting a State Affiliate Chapter, Scharmel Roussel, Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church

4:25 pm to 4:40 pm- A Theological Response to Sustainable Energy – Rev. Pamela Morgan

4:40 pm to 5:00 pm - Wrap Up Session
Taking Action – Ellen McNulty and Linda Sherman
Closing Prayer – Reverend Pamela Morgan

National Council of Churches,
St. Thomas Episcopal Church,
Repower Arkansas
Arkansas Climate Campaign Coalition

Gladys Tiffany
Omni Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology
Fayetteville, Arkansas USA
479-973-9049 --

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fayetteville food drive and Washington County "stop the quarry" efforts touted on square on Saturday July 18, 2009

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of details. The finger points to the area where the red-dirt pit that owners want to convert to a limestone mine sits on the edge of Fayetteville. It is up to the Washington County Quorum Court to see that the proposal is not allowed. Residents of Fayetteville and the rest of Washington County must let their justices of the peace know their feelings about this project or it could become an even uglier disaster than shown on the poster. And the limestone pit is estimated to take 75 years to deplete!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kucinich says clean energy sets targets that are too weak

Kucinich Says Climate Bill Might Make Things Worse

Posted on Jun 27, 2009

Statement From Rep. Dennis Kucinich:

“I oppose H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. The reason is simple. It won’t address the problem. In fact, it might make the problem worse.

“It sets targets that are too weak, especially in the short term, and sets about meeting those targets through Enron-style accounting methods. It gives new life to one of the primary sources of the problem that should be on its way out– coal – by giving it record subsidies. And it is rounded out with massive corporate giveaways at taxpayer expense. There is $60 billion for a single technology which may or may not work, but which enables coal power plants to keep warming the planet at least another 20 years.

“Worse, the bill locks us into a framework that will fail. Science tells us that immediately is not soon enough to begin repairing the planet. Waiting another decade or more will virtually guarantee catastrophic levels of warming. But the bill does not require any greenhouse gas reductions beyond current levels until 2030.

“Today’s bill is a fragile compromise, which leads some to claim that we cannot do better. I respectfully submit that not only can we do better; we have no choice but to do better. Indeed, if we pass a bill that only creates the illusion of addressing the problem, we walk away with only an illusion. The price for that illusion is the opportunity to take substantive action.

“There are several aspects of the bill that are problematic.

1. Overall targets are too weak. The bill is predicated on a target atmospheric concentration of 450 parts per million, a target that is arguably justified in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but which is already out of date. Recent science suggests 350 parts per million is necessary to help us avoid the worst effects of global warming.

2. The offsets undercut the emission reductions. Offsets allow polluters to keep polluting; they are rife with fraudulent claims of emissions reduction; they create environmental, social, and economic unintended adverse consequences; and they codify and endorse the idea that polluters do not have to make sacrifices to solve the problem.

3. It kicks the can down the road. By requiring the bulk of the emissions to be carried out in the long term and requiring few reductions in the short term, we are not only failing to take the action when it is needed to address rapid global warming, but we are assuming the long term targets will remain intact.

4. EPA’s authority to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short- to medium-term is rescinded. It is our best defense against a new generation of coal power plants. There is no room for coal as a major energy source in a future with a stable climate.

5. Nuclear power is given a lifeline instead of phasing it out. Nuclear power is far more expensive, has major safety issues including a near release in my own home state in 2002, and there is still no resolution to the waste problem. A recent study by Dr. Mark Cooper showed that it would cost $1.9 trillion to $4.1 trillion more over the life of 100 new nuclear reactors than to generate the same amount of electricity from energy efficiency and renewables.

6. Dirty Coal is given a lifeline instead of phasing it out. Coal-based energy destroys entire mountains, kills and injures workers at higher rates than most other occupations, decimates ecologically sensitive wetlands and streams, creates ponds of ash that are so toxic the Department of Homeland Security will not disclose their locations for fear of their potential to become a terrorist weapon, and fouls the air and water with sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulates, mercury, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and thousands of other toxic compounds that cause asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, and pulmonary and cardiac problems for starters. In contrast, several times more jobs are yielded by renewable energy investments than comparable coal investments.

7. The $60 billion allocated for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) is triple the amount of money for basic research and development in the bill. We should be pressuring China, India and Russia to slow and stop their power plants now instead of enabling their perpetuation. We cannot create that pressure while spending unprecedented amounts on a single technology that may or may not work. If it does not work on the necessary scale, we have then spent 10-20 years emitting more CO2, which we cannot afford to do. In addition, those who will profit from the technology will not be viable or able to stem any leaks from CCS facilities that may occur 50, 100, or 1000 years from now.

8. Carbon markets can and will be manipulated using the same Wall Street sleights of hand that brought us the financial crisis.

9. It is regressive. Free allocations doled out with the intent of blunting the effects on those of modest means will pale in comparison to the allocations that go to polluters and special interests. The financial benefits of offsets and unlimited banking also tend to accrue to large corporations. And of course, the trillion dollar carbon derivatives market will help Wall Street investors. Much of the benefits designed to assist consumers are passed through coal companies and other large corporations, on whom we will rely to pass on the savings.

10. The Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) is not an improvement. The 15% RES standard would be achieved even if we failed to act.

11. Dirty energy options qualify as “renewable”: The bill allows polluting industries to qualify as “renewable energy.” Trash incinerators not only emit greenhouse gases, but also emit highly toxic substances. These plants disproportionately expose communities of color and low-income to the toxics. Biomass burners that allow the use of trees as a fuel source are also defined as “renewable.” Under the bill, neither source of greenhouse gas emissions is counted as contributing to global warming.

12. It undermines our bargaining position in international negotiations in Copenhagen and beyond. As the biggest per capita polluter, we have a responsibility to take action that is disproportionately stronger than the actions of other countries. It is, in fact, the best way to preserve credibility in the international context.

13. International assistance is much less than demanded by developing countries. Given the level of climate change that is already in the pipeline, we are going to need to devote major resources toward adaptation. Developing countries will need it the most, which is why they are calling for much more resources for adaptation and technology transfer than is allocated in this bill. This will also undercut our position in Copenhagen.

“I offered eight amendments and cosponsored two more that collectively would have turned the bill into an acceptable starting point. All amendments were not allowed to be offered to the full House. Three amendments endeavored to minimize the damage that will be done by offsets, a method of achieving greenhouse gas reductions that has already racked up a history of failure to reduce emissions – increasing emissions in some cases – while displacing people in developing countries who rely on the land for their well being.

“Three other amendments would have made the federal government a force for change by requiring all federal energy to eventually come from renewable resources, by requiring the federal government to transition to electric and plug-in hybrid cars, and by requiring the installation of solar panels on government rooftops and parking lots. These provisions would accelerate the transition to a green economy.

“Another amendment would have moved up the year by which reductions of greenhouse gas emissions were required from 2030 to 2025. It would have encouraged the efficient use of allowances and would have reduced opportunities for speculation by reducing the emission value of an allowance by a third each year.

“The last amendment would have removed trash incineration from the definition of renewable energy. Trash incineration is one of the primary sources of environmental injustice in the country. It a primary source of compounds in the air known to cause cancer, asthma, and other chronic diseases. These facilities are disproportionately sited in communities of color and communities of low income. Furthermore, incinerators emit more carbon dioxide per unit of electricity produced than coal-fired power plants.

“Passing a weak bill today gives us weak environmental policy tomorrow,” said Kucinich.

Dick Bennett

Monday, July 6, 2009

Vic Snyder votes for American Clean Energy Security Act despite criticism from industry

As you may know, Congressman Snyder was the only Arkansas Representative who voted for the American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009 which will provide a new energy policy, cap CO2, and create millions of green collar jobs. You also probably may suspect the backlash from those vested interests who opposed the bill are already attacking Rep. Snyder and may continue throughout the year and into next years elections. I have 3 action items I would like to ask you to consider doing:
1. Send Congressman Snyder a short thank you note telling him you appreciate his courage, vision for the future, and willingness to see the very big picture. His email is
His mailing addresses are: (Note, if you can send asap to his Little Rock address as the US Congress is on July 4th recess.
A. Rep. Vic Snyder, US House of Representatives, 1501 N. University Avenue, Ste. 150, Little Rock, AR 72707
B. Rep Vic Snyder, US House of Representatives, 2210 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
C. Email him by going to his House webpage:, and go to "contact me"
2. If you have family, friends or colleagues who live in Rep. Snyder’s district ask them to send him a thank you. His district covers central Arkansas.
3. If you are a business owner consider signing a letter of support to Congressman Snyder which will be published in newspapers. Contact Angela Wisely at

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. We really need to ensure that those few elected officials that do have the best interests of Arkansans and Americans remain in office.
Have a great 4th and let’s hope this time next year the US will have meaningful energy and climate policy in place and that the Copenhagen Treaty negotiations have brought about an new world policy on reducing greenhouse gases,