A bipartisan coalition of 64 mayors, representing 25 states across the country, joined with Environment America today to call on Congress to take action on clean energy. Specifically, the mayors have sent a letter to Congress urging members to extend solar and wind energy tax credits; expand incentives for electric vehicles and energy efficiency; and create new tax credits for energy storage projects.
“Mayors are on the ground working to clean up the air and improve the health of their communities,” said Ben Sonnega, Go Solar Campaign advocate with Environment America. “Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle need to heed the call to act from local leaders and seize the opportunity to invest in clean energy now.”
The broad spectrum of mayors who signed on to this letter reflects the breadth of national support for clean energy. Local leaders who joined in this message to Congress include mayors from all regions of the country, including Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, Texas; Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin of Raleigh, North Carolina; Mayor Eileen Weir of Independence, Missouri; Mayor James Brainard of Carmel, Indiana; and Mayor Victoria R. Woodwards of Tacoma, Washington. They also represent both large cities such as Miami and Pittsburgh and smaller towns such as Traverse City, Michigan, and Norfolk, Nebraska.
“If the future of energy lies in green technology, I think we need to be doing everything we can to catalyze that process,” said Miami’s Mayor Francis X. Suarez. “Nearly 90% of Americans want to see clean energy tax incentives extended, and our members of Congress were elected to represent our interests, it’s as simple as that.”
The mayors’ push for this sort of support is not unprecedented. In 2009, the federal government made a $90 billion investment through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Since the ARRA was enacted, wind power capacity has tripled, and the U.S. has seen an 80-fold increase in solar power capacity.
“Clean energy is important to the future of not only Raleigh and all of North Carolina, but also our entire planet,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin of Raleigh, North Carolina. “We believe that a sustainable community is a thriving community. One that provides opportunities for all residents, cares for the environment, and has a vision for the future.”
News item from Environment America
Rod Ferguson says
In response to James West, I feel for you sir. It is hard to hold on to the past with so much change now and the future. As a people, we must let go and move on. There really is no alternative. Progress must be made now and in the near future for the good of mankind. I don’t want my grandchildren to be forced to move to Mars.
James West says
I suppose solar panels on a homeowner’s house is okay and reasonable. But I strongly object to living in southern Indiana and having 4,000 acre solar “farms” FORCED upon us. Hundreds of neighbors oppose it, and everywhere you drive you see “Stop Industrial Solar Plants” signs in the yards. My house, 161 years old log, one of the first built in the township in 1859, will be surrounded on three sides right on the property lines by the panels. It matters not that our property was declared a National Wildlife Habitat recognized by both state and federal. It matters not that wild animals will not be able to access the pond especially dug for them. Our future, after living here for 50 years+, and the future of our property and the neighbor’s property rests SOLELY with three elected county commissioners that completely ignore the people that put them in office.
We need strong and intelligent laws in place to deal with such a situation. Setbacks, water shed, maintenance, storm damage, chemicals in the panels leaching into the now useless but once prime farm ground, and plans for eventual decommission. Only weak laws exist today, and with elected officials as we are experiencing today give us little hope.
Ramon David says
i agree with your concerns about siting. Some solar farms are actually combine crops or grazing – which you might be interested in.
I do not agree with your concerns about leaching though:
“There were no significant differences in lead or cadmium levels near vs. far from the PV systems. Despite concentration differences for some elements near vs. far from the panel systems, no elements were, on average, present in concentrations that would pose a risk to nearby ecosystems. PV systems thus remain a cleaner alternative to traditional energy sources, such as coal, especially during the operation of these energy production systems.”
A lot of solar arrays just use piles, not concrete, which means the whole “farm” could be pulled up easily and converted back into prime farmland if desired someday
P Opovich says
Solar/wind still need tax support from the unwashed masses to be viable. Socialism is wonderful until you run out of other peoples money!
Brian N says
Typical right wing talking point. Renewables are cheaper than fossil fuel now without subsidies. Why do you think all the coal plants are shutting down? It ain’t the “govmint” doing it because Trump wants nothing more than coal plants open everywhere. It’s because coal is more expensive than solar/wind dummy.
Corporatism is wonderful as long as society subsidizes fossil fuel usage 100x higher than renewables! Burning fossil fuels kills 200,000 per year in the US alone. Care to put a price on a human life? Wait, I probably shouldn’t ask that to someone who probably supports a president whose incompetence has killed 150,000 Americans already.
You mean like the tens of BILLIONS that the gov’t gives the fossil fuel industry every year? Or do those dollars not count as socialism in your book? trumplodytes have the lowest IQ’s
Allan Timko says
Please call your CPA for the definition of a “tax credit”. No $$ comes out of the POpovich POcket.
“A bipartisan coalition of 64 mayors, representing 25 states across the country, joined with Environment America today to call on Congress to take action on clean energy. Specifically, the mayors have sent a letter to Congress urging members to extend solar and wind energy tax credits; expand incentives for electric vehicles and energy efficiency; and create new tax credits for energy storage projects.”
Wow, I’m actually disappointed, statistically there are about 1,400 mayors in the U.S.. don’t these guys and gals want to see building permit revenues on local solar PV installs in their local “kitty”?
Eliot Kersgaard says
Thanks for this, Kelly! I saw it here first thanks to my Google alert. It is definitely the time of year to start pushing this, since systems need to be installed by the end of the year. And, simultaneously we should be making sure homeowners know to start the process now because the likelihood of this Congress passing it are practically nonexistent.