January 28, 2007

Mayors seek $4B to fight Energy & Environmental Challenges

In view of the front burner status granted to energy independence, the mayors of the nation have issued calls upon the federal government to insure that climate protection does not become "a poor stepchild." After all, the two are related.

At a recent meeting, the mayors have called for $4 billion in an Energy and Environmental Blog Grant to help cities combat global warming. In addition to mitigation of automobile emissions, steps need to be taken to reduce waste that goes into landfills - a major source of greenhouse gases - and cut emissions from non-renewable electric power generation. Educating urban populations through government-sponsored outreach programs would also be a warranted expense.

US Mayors Call for $4 Billion Block Grant to Combat Global Warming
Cities are on the frontlines of climate change with mayors leading the way. But we can’t do it alone. We need the federal government to be a real partner with us on the issues of climate protection and achieving energy independence. That is why we are proposing an Energy and Environmental Block Grant.
—Douglas H. Palmer, Conference President and Trenton, NJ Mayor

The block grant would provide funding directly to cities and urban counties for programs that: improve community energy efficiency; reduce carbon emissions; and decrease dependence on oil.

To date, more than 372 mayors from all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, have signed onto the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, led by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, where mayors have pledged to take actions to cut their emissions in line with the Kyoto Protocols. Additionally, the Conference of Mayors has held two national energy summits focused on alternative fuel sources and green buildings.

The mayors also outlined three requests of the 110th Congress:
• Establish a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions and a flexible market-based system of tradable allowances for emitting industries;
• Pass climate-friendly energy and transportation policies; create funding and incentives to help cities in their efforts to curb emissions; and
• Create funding and incentives to help cities in their effort to curb emissions.

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