Stimulus dollars advance energy efficiency and renewable energy in America’s citiesPRNewswire Press Release, March 4, 2014
The nation’s mayors this week released the results of a new survey pointing to city successes in using Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Gresham (OR) Mayor Shane Bemis, Bridgeport (CT) Mayor Bill Finch and Carmel (IN) Mayor Jim Brainard presented the survey findings on a national press conference call to highlight local energy innovations championed by mayors in every part of the country. The results document the responses of 204 mayors – representing cities of all population sizes and from all regions – to a series of questions from the Mayors’ Climate Protection Center designed to show generally how cities invested their EECBG program funds to help further local initiatives to reduce energy use, deploy new energy technologies and curb harmful energy emissions, among other local outcomes. Audio of the press conference is available at http://usmayors.org/pressreleases/uploads/2014/0227-audio-eecbgsurvey.mp3 .
“These findings underscore that mayors have been leading by example on energy efficiency and conservation for years,” said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis, Chair of the Conference’s Energy Committee. “Mayors all across the country have been actively working to advance energy-saving measures in communities large and small, and what we see in this report translates into real budgetary savings, local job creation and small business growth.”
Five years ago, as part of ARRA, EECBG formula grants were distributed directly to cities by the U.S. Department of Energy. Of the $2.7 billion provided to the program in formula funding, about half of these dollars ($1.3 billion) were distributed directly to cities to support their energy and climate efforts, a commitment that ranked among the largest provided to local governments in the ARRA legislation.
The Conference of Mayors conceived the EECBG Program to engage the federal government in supporting the nation’s mayors in accelerating local energy and climate initiatives, especially the more than 1000 mayors who have joined as signatories to the Conference’s Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which was a landmark pledge for mayors all across the country to take bold action to significantly reduce carbon emissions in cities in alignment with Kyoto Protocol standards.
“The mayors who signed the USCM Climate Protection Agreement represent more than 86 million people in the U.S. who are learning how important it is to work locally to curb harmful greenhouse emissions and adapt to climate change,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, Co-Chair of the Conference’s Energy Independence and Climate Protection Task Force. “The success mayors are having in deploying these resources makes the case for a stronger local-federal partnership on our nation’s energy and climate challenges, including continued EECBG funding to support cities and local areas as they develop new energy solutions.”
Last month, the Conference released a related report, Energy Efficiency and Technologies in America’s Cities, which was unveiled during the USCM 82nd Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. at a session with mayors and U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz at the Capital Hilton. That survey can be found at usmayors.org/2014energysurvey.
About the United States Conference of Mayors:
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.