Pueblo, Colorado and Moab, Utah became the 22nd and 23rd cities in the United States to commit to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. The Pueblo City Council approved a measure committing to power the community entirely with renewable sources of energy like wind and solar by 2035. The vote was immediately followed by the Moab City Council approving a resolution committing Moab to 100% renewable energy by 2032.
Cities like Pueblo and Moab have long suffered the consequences of dirty energy and utility reliance on fossil fuels. Pueblo, for example, has a sizable low-income population that has been suffering from the high cost of electricity due to the local utilities’ decision to build new gas infrastructure and saddle the cost with ratepayers. More than 7,000 people in Pueblo have had their electricity shut off due to the high cost of electricity.
In Utah, Canyonlands National Park has been marred by haze pollution from two neighboring coal plants, which threatens the local Moab tourism industry – the economic lifeblood of the community. With this week’s announcements, both communities are poised to confront these threats by transitioning away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.
“No matter who is in the White House, cities and towns across the country will continue leading the transition to 100% clean, renewable energy,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “Pueblo and Moab join a growing movement of communities which are charting a course away from dirty fuels towards one with healthier families, more economic security, and greater prosperity through 100% clean, renewable energy. We are honored to stand with city leaders and our partners as communities across the United States make the transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. Through bold leadership from places like Pueblo and Moab, the movement for clean energy will only continue to grow as more and more cities and towns get on board.”
“The high cost of energy is one of the leading reasons for homelessness in Pueblo,” said Anne Stattelman, executive cirector of Posada in Pueblo. “High electricity bills make it difficult for families to stay in their homes and almost impossible for families to secure housing. It’s wrong that today the elderly, the disabled, and the poor in our community often have to make choices between paying for food, medication, and electricity. By transitioning to 100% renewable energy, we can safeguard our community from the high cost of electricity while creating more jobs and security for people throughout Pueblo.”
“For Moab, one of the world’s great outdoor recreation destinations, the implications of climate change could not be more troubling,” said Moab city council member Kalen Jones Rising. “Temperatures, reduced water availability, economic instability, and other impacts threaten our residents and greatly limit activity that fuels our city’s economy. It is an imperative that Moab takes steps to protect our community while expanding the horizons for the local economy. Today, we are taking bold and meaningful action to confront these threats and to create more opportunity in our community by doubling down on 100% clean and renewable energy and shifting away from fossil fuels.”
“The climate crisis is a global challenge, but many of our strongest leaders are at the local level,” said Ken Berlin, CEO of The Climate Reality Project. “It is a pleasure to see The Climate Reality Project and the Sierra Club work together to support this groundswell of local leadership and help Moab, Utah, and Pueblo, Colorado, pledge to go 100% renewable. Our 100% Committed campaign, helping adventure sports and mountain communities and universities make the transition to 100% renewable electricity is gaining momentum. We have a lot of hard work ahead, but it is encouraging to see more and more communities, businesses, and universities understand that renewable energy is not only the right moral choice, but also the right economic choice.”
News item from the Sierra Club