More TX universities could charge green fees

AUSTIN, TX The proposed environment friendly funds were approved by referendums this month at the University of Texas and Texas A&M.

Regents would have to approve the fees, $5 a semester at UT and $3 a semester at A&M, before the green funds could take effect. The fees could be added to 2011 tuition bills.

The money could be used for environmentally minded measures such as subsidizing internships at green-related jobs.

A 2009 state law allows allowing public colleges and universities in Texas to establish such fees students support the costs.

Jacob Bintliff is a student who organized a campaign at UT on the fees.

"The biggest message was about affordability," he said. "Even at a green-minded campus, where we've had tuition increases and awful budget cuts, it would be an uphill battle."

Students at Texas State University in San Marcos had already established an environmental fee in 2004, after the Legislature cleared the way for a campus-specific fee.

The fee of $1 per student has paid for TV and computer recycling, trash removal and seeding for vegetation in the San Marcos River, and the blending of compost, among other projects, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

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