The EPA’s newly announced Clean Power Plan has many states, jurisdictions, and municipalities thinking about what role they will have to play to comply with the new rules. At the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, reducing GHG emissions will be a hot topic. Some key strategies that are likely to feature prominently include passing and implementing more stringent building energy codes, lessening the barriers to implementing renewable energy projects, and loan programs for efficiency and renewables.
Today, hundreds of mayors are convening in Dallas, Texas, for the 82nd annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Climate change will play a prominent role on the meeting’s agenda because these mayors understand that the nation’s cities and towns are the front line of the response to climate change. This meeting comes on the heels of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s, or EPA’s, recently unveiled Clean Power Plan, which proposes carbon-pollution limits for the nation’s existing fleet of currently unregulated power plants. What some observers may not appreciate is that mayors can contribute to—and benefit from—plans to cut dangerous carbon pollution.
The EPA proposal is results oriented and highly flexible. It proposes to set a target for each state based on that state’s potential to reduce carbon pollution. This means that states can tailor their federal carbon-pollution plans to align with state priorities. It also means that everything a city does to cut pollution will help its state meet the target.