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Green Colleges: Schools to Begin Improving Energy Efficiency

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Environmentally-conscious high school students planning to attend a “green” college after they graduate will be pleased to learn that seven colleges and universities across the country have been selected to take part in a new energy efficiency program announced Friday by President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

Colleges Updating Campus Buildings While Improving Energy Usage

Part of the Better Buildings Initiative that Obama launched in February, the new program will provide government funds totaling $2 billion to colleges and universities, cities, private companies, and other entities. The participants themselves will be required to collectively contribute the other $2 billion. The Better Buildings Initiative is an effort to improve building efficiency by 20 percent.

The White House Blog reports that Obama and Clinton—along with Tom Donohue, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers—met at a Washington construction site of a building that is in the midst of an energy efficiency upgrade.

U.S. Colleges and Universities Going Green

Obama stated that making U.S. buildings more energy efficient is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest methods to create more jobs and save money while reducing pollution. “Today, I’m directing all federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next 2 years – at no up-front cost to the taxpayer. Coupled with today’s extraordinary private sector commitments of $2 billion to upgrade businesses, factories, and military housing, America is taking another big step towards the competitive, clean energy economy it will take to win the future,” the President announced, according to a press release issued by the Office of the Press Secretary.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that private companies including GE and Supervalu, as well as the city of Denver, the District of Columbia, and the states of Minnesota and Iowa, will be participating in the program.

Colleges that are “going green” and getting ready to begin improving their energy efficiency thanks to the program include the following:

The participants are all excited to be part of the Better Buildings Challenge, particularly Michigan State. “We are honored to be an integral part of this discussion,” the university’s president, Lou Anna K. Simon, said in a press release issued by the school. “We are ready to accept the challenge of improving the energy efficiency of our main campus buildings, about 20 million square feet of building space, targeting the energy reduction goal of this initiative.”

Read More:

Going Green at College: Sierra Club Ranks America’s Greenest Campuses

Watch More:

President Obama and President Clinton Speak on Better Building Initiative Investments, courtesy of The White House

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Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.


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