The Heat Is Online

Lewis & Clark Students Raise Fees to Meet Kyoto Goals

LEWIS AND CLARK STUDENTS APPROVE FEE HIKE TO BECOME FIRST COLLEGE TO MEET STANDARDS OF KYOTO PROTOCOL

Portland, OR – Feb. 1, 2002 -- After 3 days of polling, the undergraduate students of Lewis & Clark College overwhelmingly approved a proposal to raise annual student fees by $10 per student per year to fight global warming. The final count indicated 536 (83.3%) votes in favor and 107 (16.6%) against.

According to an inventory of the college's emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) performed this past summer as a student/faculty research project, the fee increase will raise enough money to allow the college to meet the specifications of the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement that committed the United States to reduce its GHG emissions to 7% below 1990 levels.

Although several colleges have committed to meeting the specifications of the Kyoto Protocol, no college in the world has yet officially declared Kyoto-compliance.

Before the proposal can be implemented, the Lewis & Clark College Board of Trustees must approve it at their meeting later this February. "For the Board of Trustees to veto this policy after such strong student support would be shameful," stated Julian Dautremont-Smith, the proposal initiator. The ball is now in their court," he observed.

The money raised from the student fee increase would be used to purchase "offsets" from the Climate Trust (www.climatetrust.org), a non-profit organization that meets the requirements of Oregon law (HB 3283) to sell offsets to new fossil fuel energy facilities built in Oregon which are required by HB 3283 to avoid, sequester, or displace a portion of their GHG emissions.

Purchasing offsets is essentially providing funding to projects that reduce GHG emissions such as green energy projects or tree plantings and subtracting the amount reduced from the offset purchaser's total emissions. The Climate Trust's offsets currently come from a wind power project in Oregon, a landfill gas collection power project in Washington, a forestry preservation project with the Lummi Indian Tribe and the Northwest Indian College in Washington, and a car pool matching program in Oregon.

With the success of today's vote at Lewis & Clark, organizers are newly inspired to spread similar campaigns around the nation. Indeed, they are holding a conference on campus next weekend for student/faculty partnerships from other schools to come learn about the Lewis & Clark experience and how to run similar campaigns. So far over 70 people representing 23 colleges around the country are scheduled to attend.

If the Trustees approve the raise in student fees, all undergraduate students enrolled at Lewis & Clark would, beginning Fall 2002, pay $10 more per year in student fees, which are currently set at $200 per year. Since total tuition and fees at Lewis & Clark is currently $22,610 per year, the student fee raise would represent an increase of .044%.