Society

25 U.S. Cities Commit To 100% Renewable Energy

| by Ray Brown

Twenty-five U.S. cities have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy.

EcoWatch has reported that Madison, Wisconsin, and Abita Springs, Louisiana, are the latest cities to make the energy commitment. Other cities that have already made the commitment include San Diego, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah.

According to WMTV, the Madison plan will involve establishing community-wide energy and carbon goals of 100 percent renewable energy and net-zero carbon emissions; appoint city staff to the task of developing a plan for the city that will include target dates for reaching these goals and documenting the financial impact; and provide a $250,000 budget for "third-party expertise to help city staff develop the plan by January 2018."

Madison Common Council Alder Zach Wood said that his city will "lead the way in moving beyond fossil fuels that threaten our health and environment," reported EcoWatch.

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In Abita Springs, Louisiana, the pro-environment effort was led by Mayor Greg Lemons, a Republican who bucked the trend of his party to dismiss pro-environment policies as big government intrusion.

"It's not a partisan issue to me ... I'm not a business-at-any-cost person," Lemons told Motherboard. "I know we need to have business, we need to have jobs, but we also need to have a place to live, and that's important too. And you can do both."

"Politics has nothing to do with it for me. Clean energy just makes good economic sense," Lemons told EcoWatch.

LeAnn Pinniger Magee, chair of Abita Committee for Energy Sustainability, felt the same way as Lemons.

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"In a state dominated by oil interests, Abita Springs is a unique community that can be a leader on the path to renewable energy," she said. "Our town already boasts the solar-powered Abita Brewery and we can see first-hand how clean energy benefits our businesses and our entire community. By transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy, we will save money on our utility bills and protect our legendary water and clean air in the process."

Jodie Van Horn, director of the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 campaign, told EcoWatch that renewable energy should be a bipartisan issue.

"Whether you're Republican or a Democrat, from a liberal college city or a rural Louisiana town, clean energy is putting America back to work and benefiting communities across the country," Van Horn said.

And with President Donald Trump at the helm of the country's environmental policies, Van Horm said there needs to be pushback from people of both parties.

"As the Trump Administration turns its back on clean air and clean water, cities and local leaders will continue to step up to lead the transition towards healthy communities and a more vibrant economy powered by renewable energy," she said.

Sources: EcoWatch, WMTV, Motherboard / Photo credit: Richard Hurd/Flickr

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