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Daily Newscasts

Can WA Get "Greener?" Mayors Say, "You Bet!"

November 1, 2007

Seattle, WA - Your mayor may be making a promise you'll be asked to help deliver. Mayors from hundreds of U.S. cities are gathered in Seattle today for a conference on how to tackle global warming at the local level. About 700 mayors, including 28 here in Washington, have signed a "Climate Protection Agreement" pledging to do their part, and prod state and federal governments to pick up the pace, as well. One of the "stars" of the meeting may be the City of Bellingham, which just received a national award for smart energy use. Mayor Tim Douglas says he'll convince other towns that they can do it, too.

"One hundred percent of our operating energy here in the city comes from renewable energy; we signed up to go all the way! We think that can be stimulating to other communities and, at the same time, we'll be picking up new ideas that other people are trying out."

Mayor Dennis Hession of Spokane is also attending the meeting. He's appointed a new city commission to make recommendations about smarter energy use. Hession sees getting on the bandwagon to fight global warming as a matter of common sense.

"There, of course, are some naysayers in Spokane, like there are anywhere. But the science is very believable and, if you do some of the things that are recommended, you'll reduce your costs and you'll reduce energy consumption. How can that be bad?"

The mayors will hear from climate change experts and some politicians, including former President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The conference runs Thursday and Friday, November 1 and 2. The agenda, and additional information about the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement is available online, at

Chris Thomas/John Robinson, Public News Service - WA