November WSU Sustainability Newsletter
Ogden City is reconsidering its participation in the Community Renewable Energy Act in pursuit of a 100% net-renewable energy by 2030 goal.
The Ogden City Council will be discussing House Bill (HB) 411, the Community Renewable Energy Act in a work session on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 4 pm, and possibly bringing it to a vote to remove themselves from the process, as early as Tuesday, December 1, at a City Council meeting. If you would like to hear the deliberations, these sessions can be attended via Zoom (links and meeting IDs are included at the bottom of the associated meeting's agenda).
During the 2019 legislative session, Utah passed HB 411, the Community Renewable Energy Act (CREA). HB 411 provided Utah communities with the ability to ensure that the equivalent of 100% renewable energy would be the energy standard for the community. The ability for the community to be able choose between 100% net-renewable energy and the traditional fuel mix, is rare. Utah is the first state in the nation to allow communities to adopt this model, but this option was only made available for those cities who made 100% renewable goals by the end of last year.
Ogden along with 22 other Utah cities made 100% net-renewable energy goals, allowing these cities to engage together in the initial process to determine if renewable energy will become the standard in these cities. This standard comes with an opt-out option for any individual, or business who wants to continue with Rocky Mountain Power’s (RMP) predominantly fossil fuel mix.
The process to reach the 100% goal involves several steps. First, working with the other 100% cities to come to an interlocal governance agreement concerning CREA. Second, working with an independent consultant and RMP to come up with a new service agreement for the renewable energy customers, which will include a new rate. Third, Cities and RMP will bring this service agreement before the Public Service Commission to ensure that the rates and agreement comply with Utah law and are fair. Finally, after seeing the rates and final service agreement, cities then decide if they will accept the agreement. Only then will 100% net-renewable energy become the standard choice in these cities. It will likely take until 2023 to move through all these steps.
In October, WSU President Brad Mortenson applauded the City of Ogden in their CREA efforts to pursue 100% net-renewable energy. Ogden's consideration of this is very much in keeping with WSU's own work to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, work that includes sourcing from renewable energy sources as much as possible.
However, a recent article in the Standard Examiner article indicated the city was concerned about costs, noting a study by Edwin Stafford discussing potential rate increases. Stafford responded to the article with an op-ed stating that those cost figures quoted from him were out of date. He clarified that, “Since 2017, wind and solar prices have continued to decline dramatically, becoming increasingly cost competitive with and in many circumstances, less expensive than traditional fossil fuel electricity sources.”
If you are interested to learn more about the City Council’s HB 411 packet including various options for exiting or moving forward click here.
Did you know, faculty from many departments are including sustainability aspects in their curriculum? Students can include sustainability perspectives in their generals and major classes. You can register for these courses by looking for the “SUS” attribute in your eWeber registration portal or on the WSU Sustainability website at weber.edu/sustainability/courses. A course with a sustainability (SUS) attribute formally indicates that it includes sustainability, holistically defined to recognize environmental, social, and economic intersections in some way. Complex issues require knowledge and skills from a range of disciplines. SUS courses aim to further students’ understanding of and ability to address our real world challenges. Additionally, the way we each live our lives has consequences for our world, making it important for every person from all areas of study to consider such aspects of sustainability as human and ecological health, social justice, and secure livelihoods.
Faculty are encouraged to apply for the SUS designation for courses that include sustainability components. More information about SUS courses, the application process, and rubric can be found at weber.edu/sustainability/sus-attribute.
Events for this year’s Native Symposium will be held on November 18-19.
Wednesday, November 18
A film screening of Sisters Rising will be held on Thursday, November 18. The film follows six Native American women who refuse to allow patterns of violence against indigenous women to continue in the shadows. It has been shown that Native women are 2.5x more likely to experience sexual assault than American women. The stories of these women, a tribal cop, an attorney, a women’s self-defense instructor, a grassroots advocate, and an author, “shine an unflinching light on righting injustice on both an individual and systemic level.”
Join the event on Facebook. The link will be available for 24 hours.
Thursday, November 19
Resiliency, Advocacy & Action
On Friday, there will be a short film screening of Navajo Nation Crisis and panel discussion to follow with Jacob Crane, Sahar Khadjenoury, and Donna Eldridge.
Jacob Crane is a citizen of the Tsuut'ina Nation, located in the province of Alberta, Canada. He is also the Board Treasurer for the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake. He is currently the Executive Director for the SLC Air Protectors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving Indigenous people in the State of Utah.
Sahar Khadjenoury has worked as a producer in film and television for both Indigenous and Non Indigenous production companies. She has lived in Los Angeles, China, Philippines, and Italy and traveled throughout Asia for her career before and after returning to school at the University of Utah. Sahar is currently Coordinator of the Utah Navajo COVID Relief Program serving the Utah Navajo region.
Donna Eldridge is a member of the Navajo Nation from Shiprock, New Mexico. In addition to being the Program Manager at the University of Utah School of Medicine Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Donna leads educational outreach programs for K-12 students and tribal nations. The programs are designed to stimulate student learning, create an interest in science, and expose students to medicine and related fields to ultimately create a gateway to higher education.
Contact Andrea Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
Plant-based diets are not only good for your health, they are also good for the planet. Although meat is a big part of the American palate and tradition, it takes 20 times more resources to produce 1 gram of protein from beef than 1 gram of protein from beans. Under conventional agricultural practices, cows and other grazing animals are some of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Aiming for a vegetarian or plant-based diet, or incorporating Meatless Mondays, can help drawdown carbon emissions.
Through the Energy and Sustainability Office, the Community Garden is working to create a Weber State Sustainable Recipe book to help educate our students, faculty, and the community on ways they can become more sustainable in their own garden and kitchen.
Some fun recipes they've received so far are: Broccoli Mac & Cheese, Vegetarian Fajitas, and even Impossible White Chili (with impossible burger!). Here’s a sneak peek:
Vegetarian Lasagna (Makes 10-12 lasagna rolls)
1 package lasagna noodles
1 (16oz) container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
1/4 cup diced green onion
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 (32oz) jar spaghetti sauce
In a small bowl, blend ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Stir in spinach, green onions, and 1 cup grated cheese. Drain noodles, lay out on a cutting board and dab with a dry cloth. In the bottom of a baking pan, spread a layer of sauce. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture on the lasagna strips, then roll up each strip. You want the noodles to roll easily without any sauce oozing out. Lay the roll-ups seam-side down, pour the remaining sauce over, sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake for 45 min @ 350°.
Add your favorite recipes at https://forms.gle/ewmempkjjKyJsuBR8 and stay tuned for the forthcoming recipe book!
The Climate Change & Culture Shift series continues, exploring the areas of economics, art and social media. Invited guest speakers share perspectives on shifting culture as we strive to create a safe and healthy environment for all.
Sessions are open and available to all on Tuesdays from Noon-1:15 p.m. The full series list and a link to watch via Zoom can be found here. Upcoming sessions are listed here:
Nov. 17 - "The Positive Economics of Climate Change," Gavin Roberts, WSU Economics Department
Nov. 23 - "Composing Community: Exploring the Arts and Social Change," Rebecca McFaul (violinist) Fry Street Quartet, Utah State University, and Weber State faculty K. Stevenson (Visual Arts) and Abe Smith (English)
Dec. 1 - "Influencer Advocacy in Climate Change: A Social Network Analysis Perspective,"
Li Chen, WSU Department of Communication
Dec. 8 - Student Presentations and Perspectives - Shifting Culture to Act on Climate
Students enrolled in the course
Students of all majors with an interest in wildlife conservation can apply to Round River Conservation Studies study abroad programs. Studying abroad might seem unrealistic right now, but Round River is offering a new domestic program this year to provide an interactive research experience to students. The program location is the Sky Island Borderlands. In this program, students will help monitor wildlife movement across the U.S.-Mexico border using camera traps, survey perennial springs that provide life-giving water in the desert, and study the elevational distribution of key species like the saguaro cactus.
Former Round River and current Weber State student in the Earth and Environmental Sciences department, Katherine Meyr, participated in the British Columbia summer program in 2019. She remarks, “My experience was unlike any other. I was given the chance to interact with a wilderness I wasn’t sure still existed while actively involved in it’s protection. As a developing Earth scientist, I was able to grow my knowledge of the environment as well as how people can interact with it in a positive way.”
Students would receive 15 upper division credits, transferable to Weber State University, in Natural History, Applied Conservation Biology, Introduction to Biological Field Methods, Applied Ecology, and Humans and the Environment. More information about this location and Round River in general can be found at https://www.roundriver.org/.
Interested students can contact Katherine Meyr at email@example.com, for information on potential scholarship opportunities and to learn more about her experience.
Climate change remains a pressing issue for the world at large. One national organization, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) has maintained strong efforts to address climate issues and advocate change at the government level. A large majority of work is spent lobbying members of Congress, with a nonpartisan emphasis that extends beyond party lines.
At Weber State, our CCL club follows the efforts of the national organization. If you are on our email list, you will receive updates on issues, opportunities for workshops and trainings to extend your knowledge, as well as internship and job openings. Additionally, CCL has chapter branches in many places, the closest being the Weber-Davis Chapter, which often collaborates with the Weber State Chapter. Together, we host monthly meetings to go over the current CCL agenda. This month, we will meet on Wednesday, November 18th at 6:30pm to discuss and practice lobbying efforts. To join our email list and/or the Weber-Davis CCL Meetings, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.