Pueblo, Colorado, and Moab, Utah, have become the 22nd and 23rd cities in the United States to commit to 100 per cent renewable energy targets.
On Monday 13th February, the Pueblo City Council approved a measure to source the entire community’s power demand from renewable energy, including wind and solar, by 2035.
The following day, the Moab City Council approved a resolution committing the city to 100 per cent renewables by 2032.
Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, said: “Pueblo and Moab join a growing movement of communities which are charting a course away from dirty fuels toward one with healthier families, more economic security and greater prosperity…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.”
According to the Sierra Club, cities like Pueblo and Moab have long struggled with the consequences of fossil fuels in terms of the environment and cost.
In Pueblo, citizens have suffered from high electricity costs as a result of the local utilities’ decision to build new gas infrastructure; while in Utah, the Canyonlands National Park is under threat from haze pollution emitted by two neighbouring coal plants which is affecting the local Moab tourism industry.
Anne Stattelman, Executive Director of housing and supportive service provider Posada in Pueblo, said: “The high cost of energy is one of the leading reasons for homelessness 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.”
She went to say: “By transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy, we can safeguard our community from the high cost of electricity while creating more jobs and security for people throughout Pueblo.”
Moab City Council Member Kalen Jones asserted that the renewable energy commitment was required to address the impacts of climate change.
She said: “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.”