SB City Council to Consider 100% Renewable Energy Goal

SB City Council to Consider 100% Renewable Energy Goal title=
SB City Council to Consider 100% Renewable Energy Goal
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Source: Community Environmental Council

Community Environmental Council (CEC), in partnership with the Los Padres chapter of Sierra Club, will present Santa Barbara City Council members with over 1,200 signatures and postcards in support of setting a goal of 100% renewable energy. They are calling on community members to come speak in support of this goal on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at the Santa Barbara City Hall Council Chambers at 735 Anacapa Street. The item will likely be held between 2-4 p.m., but please check after Thursday, June 1 for a more exact time.

Prior to attending the June 6 Santa Barbara City Council meeting, community members can support the 100% renewable goal by customizing and sending a letter to city officials at the link above.

"We need to show up in strong numbers to ensure the council members see how important this shift to clean energy is for our community," stated Michael Chiacos, Climate and Energy Program Director for CEC.

The call for 100% renewable energy comes at a time when cities around the nation are stepping up as leaders in the fight against climate change in the face of eroding federal climate action. To date, 29 cities nationwide have already committed to a goal of achieving 100% renewable energy for their entire communities, six have already met that goal, and dozens of others are considering similar actions. In our own state, San Diego, Del Mar, Santa Monica, Palo Alto, San Jose, South Lake Tahoe, and San Francisco have set goals of 100% renewables by 2030 or earlier, and are now studying the best ways to reach these targets.

In our community, CEC and Sierra club are specifically asking the City Council to 

  • Set a goal of 100% renewable energy for the entire community by 2030.
  • Set a goal of 50% renewable energy for municipal operations by 2020 and 100% by 2030.
  • Develop plans by April 22, 2018 – Earth Day – for meeting these goals.

Such targets will re-assert Santa Barbara's environmental leadership and send a message to state and federal agencies that our region embraces the rapid transition to renewable energy that we have seen over the last decade. These goals are forward-thinking and have the potential to set a model for other communities.
Many cities are developing their own Community Choice Energy programs to increase their renewable energy supply. With a lower cost structure and rapidly declining renewable energy costs, it’s possible cities could hit their renewable energy objectives while saving money. Locally, a feasibility study exploring the potential for Community Choice in all or part of the Tri-County region will be released in June. CEC believes the City should use the local Community Choice program to evaluate strategies for getting to 100% renewables.

Community members can learn more about this powerful tool and its potential in our region by attending the free Community Choice Energy Forum on Wednesday, June 7 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Public Library Faulkner Gallery at 40 E Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Attendees will hear from leaders of Community Choice Programs in Marin, Lancaster, and Los Angeles County, and find out what the program could look like in Santa Barbara.

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