Committee presents MSU energy plan
MSU’s Energy Transition Steering Committee presented a series of tentative plans that call for the university to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 30 percent by 2015 at a public town hall meeting Tuesday, while the clock ticks on the committee’s impending presentation to the MSU Board of Trustees.
In a little more than four months, the group must present final recommendations at the Board of Trustees’ January 2012 meeting on a long-term energy plan for the university, which will be updated every five years afterward. The 24-member committee is made up of students, faculty, staff and administrators from various university groups.
Campus sustainability officials outlined initiatives on Tuesday to cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 65 percent by 2030, curb electrical energy use and develop sustainable growth through environmentally friendly buildings, all of which drew heavy feedback from about 30 attendees in the Agriculture Hall atrium.
Social relations and policy junior and MSU Beyond Coal member Callie Bruley said after the meeting the committee needs to focus more of their efforts on current solutions, not long-term practices.
“They do need to be more aggressive with their plan,” she said. “They’re asking for us to bring them the strategies, but I feel like they need to look more into how they can get those strategies today.”
Representatives from MSU Beyond Coal said at the meeting they have collected about 1,000 student signatures since the start of the fall semester on a petition urging the steering committee to move forward more quickly and aggressively with its plans.
The committee was established in January as part of the Office of Campus Sustainability. Members previously have held public energy modeling sessions and meetings throughout spring and summer 2011 to shape the multifaceted plan.
“We’ve had kind of a step-by-step process, and we’re right on track with where we wanted to be,” said Jennifer Battle, assistant director of campus sustainability, when discussing the committee’s work process.
“In our timeline we have basically the semester to hear those comments.”
Supply chain management junior Eric Price said following the meeting he thinks the committee continues to work toward solutions, but urged members to push the limits in coming up with creative ideas.
“I can’t say I don’t appreciate what they’re doing,” he said. “It definitely is a long-term thing.”
The committee is expected to hold additional public forums throughout September and October, with the next meeting scheduled from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Wonders Hall Kiva.