To the editor:
I have been reading the statements in the paper made by candidates for city council positions around the valley. In the “most pressing concerns” category there were indeed issues that will need immediate attention such as managing growth, public safety, infrastructure, water supply, and affordable housing. There was one pressing issue, however, that was not directly or indirectly addressed. That issue is, what are the communities of this valley going to do to try to mitigate the effects of climate change? I have a suggestion that lies in House Bill 411.
I heard an interview with SLC Mayor Biskupski and Vicki Bennett (SLC Sustainability Department Director) on August 23, and they referred to HB 411 which allows for a Franchise Agreement with Rocky Mountain Power. With this agreement they are pledging to be 100% renewable energy sustainable by 2030. They indicated that other cities in the state can opt into this opportunity and make the pledge, but they must pass a resolution by the end of 2019 so that Rocky Mountain Power will know what will be required of them. I understand that energy users can opt out of using this renewable energy and keep the plan that they have.
At the time of the interview, Salt Lake City was working with the Public Service Commission for approval. I assume that they will get the approval they are looking, for and I am wondering where other cities in Cache County stand with this proposal. It is my understanding that Logan city has made a 50% commitment. I am wondering if there are any other cities that are going to pass this resolution. Communities and citizens in general are asking for clean energy and clean air and would like their communities to address the issue of climate change. HB 411 would be a major step forward in that endeavor. I would hope that the mayors and members of all the local city councils will look into HB 411. I have a feeling that a lot of them are not aware of this bill or of this opportunity. Please encourage your mayor and city council members to address this most important issue of energy sustainability and pledge to do what they can to reduce our impact on climate change and to encourage their constituents to make changes beneficial to the health of the planet. If we don’t address this most critical issue, all the great plans we have for managing growth, infrastructure, affordable housing and maintaining the beauty of our cities will not mean a thing.