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Utah Cities Take the Lead in Switch to Renewable Energy

Municipalities joining the Ready for 100 campaign are transitioning to renewable energy sources in one or more sector: electricity, buildings or transportation. (Pixabay)
Municipalities joining the Ready for 100 campaign are transitioning to renewable energy sources in one or more sector: electricity, buildings or transportation. (Pixabay)
November 24, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY – As the Trump administration continues to roll back Obama-era policies designed to slow climate change, a new report from the Sierra Club shows how 50 cities across the U.S., including three in Utah, are taking steps to remove fossil fuels from their energy portfolios.

Lindsay Beebe, an organizer with the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign in Utah, says residents along the Wasatch Front recognize that something needs to be done to improve air quality.

"This leadership displayed by the mayor and city council of Salt Lake in committing to 100 percent clean energy can really take us a step forward to protecting public health and the environment,” she states.

Beebe says local leadership is especially important because of a law on the books that prohibits state-directed action on climate change, claiming that the science on the issue is unclear.

Moab, Park City and Salt Lake City all have made official commitments to begin a glide path away from fossil fuels.

Jodie Van Horn, the national director of the Ready for 100 Campaign, says five U.S. cities already have met their goals and are powered solely by renewables.

She says while some of the cities may have little in common, they share a commitment to a clean energy future.

"There has been a movement of cities across the United States – red and blue, West and East, and everything in between – moving towards 100 percent clean, renewable energy like solar and wind," she stresses.

Municipalities highlighted in the 2017 "Ready for 100" report include "left-coast" cities such as Portland, Ore., and Abita Springs, a small town with a Republican mayor in Louisiana, a deep red state.

Van Horn explains each city has made a commitment to 100 percent renewables in one or more energy sectors – electricity, buildings or transportation.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - UT