San Diego Mayor Supports Move Toward Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is an important part of environmental protection, city planning, and the economy of all cities across America. As San Diegans, we all know how important is is for us, especially, to protect the natural beauty of our surroundings. Mayor Kevin Faulconer agrees and he has announced his support for a move toward 100% renewable energy.
What exactly is renewable energy? Renewable energy (or “clean energy,” as environmentalists call it) means power that comes from natural sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric dams rather than power that comes from natural gas. In 2014, 52% of the city’s power came from natural gas, according to San Diego Gas & Electric.
Not only did our mayor state his support for renewable energy, he also announced in April that he will be one of four co-chairs of an initiative launched by the Sierra Club to convince fellow U.S. mayors to adopt a goal of moving to 100% renewable energy. The mayor states that, “Clean energy isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do… It makes sense for mayors across the country to work together because when we talk about the future of our planet, we’re talking about the future of our communities.”
This move comes at a time when the political atmosphere surrounding renewable energy and environmental activism is becoming more and more controversial. Regarding his stance, Faulconer states, “This isn’t a partisan issue. I’ve said from the very beginning there’s enough partisan politics at the national level. I was a volunteer for our parks before becoming mayor; I love our natural resources, our beaches and landscapes. I feel strongly about protecting them.”
We all want to know how these policies and initiatives will directly affect us. So what will this initiative of entirely renewable energy by 2035 mean for San Diego and its residents?
The “Next Steps” included in the Climate Action Plan Fact Sheet released by The City of San Diego lists the creation and implementation of the following:
- Establish goal of 50% of City’s fleet being electric vehicles by 2020 and 90% by 2035
- Convert City trash trucks to natural gas with goal of 100% conversion by 2035
- Capture methane from wastewater treatment with goal of capturing 98% by 2035
- A traffic signal master plan to retime traffic lights and better coordinate the traffic system
- A roundabouts master plan with goal of creating 20 roundabouts by 2035
- A site plan for electric vehicle charging stations
- A zero waste plan
- An urban tree planting program
- Encourage biking, walking and public transportation near transit stations
Our mayor is steadfast and serious about renewable energy, and it seems as though the process of moving toward this goal has already begun. San Diego is the biggest city to commit to 100% renewable energy, and hopefully we will be a shining example of how it is done. As Mayor Faulconer states, “As a city known around the world for its beautiful environment, we look forward to showing the world how to protect it.”