You are here: Home Sustainable Cities & Counties Blog archive 2009 May
Personal tools

May

Sub-archives

Local Leaders on the Bus to Capitol Hill

by Don Knapp May 30, 2009

 

The movers and shakers of local climate action hopped on a bus to Capitol Hill during the Local Climate Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. from May 18-20. Local elected officials, sustainability coordinators, energy managers, and others took the trip to make their voices heard, shining the light on local initiatives and local priorities, and making the case for ongoing federal funding to expand their already successful efforts. Check out the on-the-bus interviews, especially the comments of Leon County Commissioner Cliff Thaell, who explains the troubling climate change consequences for south Florida.

The message from local to federal leaders, especially as the Waxman-Markey climate bill makes its way through Congress: Strong climate action can't wait!

Read more »

Local Action Roundup

by Don Knapp May 28, 2009

Read more »

Local Action Roundup

by Don Knapp May 23, 2009

Read more »

North Carolina Gears Up for Stimulus Funding

by Don Knapp May 17, 2009

Guest Blogger: Cyrus Bhedwar, ICLEI Southeast Regional Manager:

Directional Arrow Signs

You might call it May Madness. There’s aren’t any brackets or upsets, and Dick Vitale won’t make a single call, but in North Carolina, just as in the rest of the country, there are players gearing up for one of the biggest events of their careers: the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) application deadline on June 25.

On May 14, with exactly six weeks left to submit their applications, staff from ICLEI member local governments around the state gathered in at the LEED-certified Wildlife Education Center in Raleigh to discuss how they might approach this unprecedented opportunity to improve energy efficiency and address greenhouse gas reductions in their communities. Attendees were greeted by Larry Shirley, Director of North Carolina’s State Energy Office, who opened the state network meeting with an overview of the state’s plans for its energy-related Recovery Act funding, which includes money from the EECBG as well as the State Energy Program. He outlined the six areas in which the state was focusing its resources and presided over a lively discussion of how local governments could collaborate with and leverage these efforts.

Read more »

Local Action Roundup

by Don Knapp May 17, 2009

Read more »

Local Action Roundup

by Don Knapp May 06, 2009

Read more »

Houston, Dallas, Chicago Biggest Green Power Purchasers

by Don Knapp May 06, 2009

Wind Turbine Sunset

Today EPA announced its top 20 local governments in the Green Power Partnership program. These cities purchase the most renewable energy to power their operations.

The list, based data from April 2009, shows that Houston, TX, which ranked #1 for total kilowatts of green power, tapped wind energy for 27 percent of its total power purchases. Wind power supplied 40 percent of Dallas' needs, and biomass and wind supplied 20 percent of City of Chicago's energy demands. Also of note is that Los Angeles County Sanitation District, ranked #4 overall, utilized biogas, generated onsite, for 54 percent of its energy needs.

If you compare the 2009 list to EPA's top 10 cities from 2008, you'll see that Chicago jumped way up the charts, and Austin, TX, and Montgomery County (MD) Wind Buyers Group held steady. The rankings from 2007 look completely different, and show that wind power usage, especially in Texas, wasn't even close to what it is today.

  • Want to learn more about how to incorporate biomass and biogas into your local government operations? Sign up for EPA's May 19 webinar.
  • Think your local government deserves recognition for its green power purchasing? Submit an application for a 2009 Green Power Leadership Award before May 29.

 

Read more »

Clearing Up Confusion on the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program

by Don Knapp May 06, 2009

Warning sign with question mark

June 25 is getting closer. Local governments across the country are scrambling to meet this application deadline for their allocated funding from the Department of Energy through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. They have countless questions, which they've been posting on FedConnect, and getting official answers from DOE.

ICLEI and Strategic Energy Initiatives have partnered to pull more than 300 of the latest questions off FedConnect and repost them in an easier-to-read, and more searchable format. Check them out here.

These queries and DOE's detailed answers should be invaluable for local government staff to pour over and gain clarity on the ins and out of the application process and the eligible uses of funds. For example:

  • Does the spending cap on the establishment of a revolving loan fund apply only to the administrative expenses of setting up the fund, or does it also apply to using the grant to capitalize the revolving loan fund as well? (It applies to both)
  • Would a project to increase energy efficiency in a water and/or wastewater treatment and/or pumping facility be eligible for funding under this opportunity? (Yes)
  • Can EECBG funds be used on projects that are included in an approved budget for the next fiscal year? (Potentially)



Read more »

Local Action Roundup

by Don Knapp May 03, 2009

Read more »

15 Mayors Who Lean Green

by Don Knapp May 03, 2009

Thumbs Up Group

Nobody should be surprised to see Michael Bloomberg, Greg Nickels, Gavin Newsom, and Richard Daley headlining a list of green mayors. But the other 11 names in Grist's list of green-leaning mayors (below) may surprise you. Progressive leadership is in swing even in places not known for being hotbeds of environmental action--and in places with serious climate challenges ahead of them.

This list is hardly complete (Hello, where is San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed? Where's Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper? I could go on) but it highlights the geographical diversity of local climate leadership, and gives you a flavor of the actions mayors have initiated--not to mention how mayors just keep setting the bar higher and higher for each other. Read the full article to learn more about each one's goals and accomplishments.

1. Michael Bloomberg, New York City
2. Greg Nickels, Seattle
3. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco
4. Ed Malloy, Fairfield, Iowa
5. Richard Daley, Chicago
6. Shirley Franklin, Atlanta
7. Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City
8. Jerramiah Healy, Jersey City
9. Manuel Diaz, Miami
10. Elaine Walker, Bowling Green, Ky
11. David Cicilline, Providence, R.I.
12. Phil Gordon, Phoenix
13. Christopher Coleman, St. Paul
14. R. T. Rybak, Minneapolis
15. Bob Dixson, Greensburg, Kansas

Read more »

Join ICLEI