“Ready For100″’ Program Case Study Highlights Ten Cities That Have Joined Nationwide Movement
Plus: Check Which Local Communities Are Seriously Considering Doing the Same
By Chris Gillespie
The Sierra Club recently published their 2017 case study “Ready For 100,” which features ten cities in the U.S. that have recently joined 37 others in committing to use 100% renewable energy within the next several decades.
Here are the American cities that make up the “Ready For 100” Class of 2017:
Abita Springs, LA
Located an hour north of New Orleans, Abita Springs has pledged to use 100% renewable electricity by 2030. The resolution was passed by the Town Council in March 2017 and is supported by Mayor Greg Lemons, who happens to be a Republican and who has said, “Clean energy just makes good economic sense.”
In May 2017, Atlanta’s City Council voted unanimously to power all municipal facilities in the Georgia capital with renewable energy by 2025, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in North America. The rest of the community is committed to being powered by 100% renewables by 2035.
Boulder made history in 2007 when it became the first city in the U.S. to enact a voter-approved carbon tax. In December 2016, the people of Boulder proved their commitment to the environment once again by passing a city council-approved goal of going 40% renewable by 2020 and 100% renewable by 2030.
As reported in the June edition of GET, Hanover made national history in June 2017 when its residents voted on and approved a goal of transitioning to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% renewable heating and transportation by 2050. Hanover is home to Dartmouth College, which has set its own goals of using 50% renewable energy on campus by 2025 and 100% by 2050.
The Madison Common Council made Wisconsin history in March 2017 when it approved a commitment to utilize 100% clean energy in electricity, heating and transportation. Madison, the largest city in the Midwest, will release a plan by January 2018 that details how and when Madison can reach its 100% goal.
Earlier this year, within hours of President Trump announcing the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, the Portland City Council and Multnomah County Commission voted to adopt a 100% renewable energy goal for the entire city by 2050.
Community officials in Pueblo hope that switching to renewable energy will provide economic relief to Pueblo’s low-income residents who have struggled for years with suffocating electricity bills. In February 2017, Pueblo’s City council voted 6-to-1 for a 100% clean energy resolution. Pueblo is already home to the world’s largest wind-tower manufacturing plant.
Salt Lake City, UT
Proposed by Mayor Jackie Biskupski and adopted by the City Council in November 2016, Salt Lake City’s joint resolution to acquire 100% of the community’s energy from renewable sources by 2032 and to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2040 was adopted out of concern for public health and the local economy.
South Lake Tahoe, CA
In April 2017, South Lake Tahoe adopted a goal to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2032 and reduce greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2049. Says Mayor Austin Sass, “The passion to protect our natural resources made this commitment possible and reflects the city’s vision statement to ‘reflect the National Treasure in which we live.’”
St. Petersburg, FL
In November 2016, St. Petersburg’s City Council voted unanimously to allocate $250,000 from BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement funds to develop an Integrated Sustainability Action Plan, which will chart a course for the Florida city to transition to 100% renewable energy.
More New Hampshire Towns Eyeing 100%
GET readers should keep their eyes out for several New Hampshire towns that might possibly appear in upcoming “Ready for 100” reports. According to the Sierra Club, the energy committees of Concord, NH, Plainfield, NH and Cornish, NH have all endorsed the 100% renewable goal and are “nearing” commitments.
For the complete case study and for ways you can take action in your own town, visit ReadyFor100.org.
LATE BREAKING NEWS: Phil Swanson, Municipal Manager for the Town and Village of Woodstock, Vermont, has told GET that Woodstock just signed on to the “Ready For 100” program. More details to come in the February 2018 edition of Green Energy Times.
Chris Gillespie is a contributing writer for Green Energy Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.