Sustainability dept. hosts “Students in Power” event

image_13455800514431345580051On Tuesday, March 12, 2013 the Sustainability department at Bellevue College hosted an event entitled: “Students in Power: Greening the Campus and State” in C-130 A & B from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event had three leads that came and sat on a panel for the event.

Ben Serrurier from Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition started the events by discussing the three main bills for legislation that are being worked on this year. Fighting for cleaner water in Puget Sound, thinning out the forestation to reach a healthier and more natural state and wildlife recreations development are all what WWRC is fighting for. The hope is for the 40% increase on the state capital’s budget to assist in financing of these three main projects.

Jil Mangaliman from the Washington Toxics Coalition spoke regarding the Toxic-Free Kids and Family Act House Bill 1294. “I just want to say that the last time this country has seen any kind of toxic reform or some major change to policy was in 1976 with the Toxic Substance Control Act. And if you remember in the 1970s that’s when disco was happening. Quite some time ago and some of us were not even born yet,” Mangaliman said.

Mangaliman explained the hazards of toxins and chemicals being more invisible nowadays because of the decrease in toxic reform. Some of the chemicals she talked about, such as TCEP, are not only getting on the surface of everything in the country, but they have actually been linked to cancer development.

The mission of the Washington Toxics Coalition is to work towards reforming and creating dialog with the legislation regarding these very harmful chemicals with the end goal of creating laws and regulations to not only “go green,” but also to stop the increase in exposure of these harsh and harmful chemicals.

“The goal of the Clean Energy Solutions Priority actually has four components: to move the state away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy while growing jobs and saving Washingtonians money. “There is a tax loop whole that has been exploited by oil refiners for 50 plus years. It was first put into the books in the 40s,” said Tom Bigret, a representative from Clean Energy Solutions Priorities. This tax creates an estimate of more than 60 million dollars every year.

One of the goals is to close that loophole so that oil companies do not get that money every year. The state can put that money back into its budget. Bigret discussed the other benefits in switching from fossil fuels to cleaner energy solutions state wide such as saving money for the state, reducing electricity usage, the creation of other jobs and increased solar panel usage.

For more information, visit the sustainability department  in Student Programs.