Press Release

Nation's Mayors Call for 10 Percent Reduction in National Energy Use

January 22, 2001

Washington, DC -- On Friday (1/19/01) the nation's Mayors offered a bold proposal to combat growing instability in energy prices and supply in many areas of the nation, calling for a ten percent, across-the-board reduction in energy use in America's cities and communities. The Mayors further called upon the states and the new Administration to work with America's cities to develop energy policies to further this conservation goal and produce new supplies of energy.

Mayor McCrory asserts that mayors want to be part of forging a national energy policy.
"We believe these conditions now threaten many communities, their businesses, and the public health and safety," said Charlotte (NC) Mayor Patrick McCrory, who chairs the Conference's Standing Committee on Energy and Environment. "And there's a very real potential, unless there's a national response to this energy crisis, that this problem could be more extensive, further disrupting the lives of more Americans and the economic vitality of this nation."

Mayor McCrory's remarks were made during the closing press conference of the 69th Winter Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors, where he was joined by the top leadership of the nation's mayors organization. More than 300 Mayors from across the U.S. took part in the Winter Meeting where city leaders discussed policy priorities for America's cities and the new Administration and Congress.

"First, we want to work with the federal government and our own state governments to develop a comprehensive national energy policy," Mayor McCrory stated. "And second, there needs to be a national response with regard to conservation, which should begin with the establishment of a national goal of a ten percent reduction in energy usage. This should begin immediately."

The Mayors also called for an immediate review to determine the causes and circumstances of the California electricity crisis so that this experience is not repeated in other parts of the nation and that responses can be developed. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley noted the importance of conducting such a national review, citing significant price discrepancies among corporate and residential energy pricing as one compelling reason for such a review. "[In Illinois] we found out that businesses could buy their energy during the low summer price periods, but homeowners and small businesses couldn't," Mayor Daley said.

"We want to send the message to Capitol Hill that this issue needs their immediate attention," Seattle Mayor Paul Schell stated. The Mayors further noted that the problem has already begun to affect cities east of California and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Mindful of recent statements by then President-elect Bush characterizing the California energy crisis as a state issue, Mayors remained confident that the Bush Administration would be open to working with the Mayors on this issue. "There is no boundary, really, no cut-off between state lines as far as regard to generation, distribution and transmission capabilities of energy resources in this country," noted Cedar Rapids Mayor Lee Clancey. "If we don't start to craft some sort of national policy with regard to all of these resources, there's absolutely no way that we're going to fix the California problem, much less address it as it rolls east, as it's sure to do."

Conference President and Boise Mayor H. Brent Coles affirmed the Mayors' confidence that the Bush Administration will form close ties with Mayors, citing meetings last week with key officials from the Bush-Cheney transition office. "We've gotten off to a good start with President Bush and his Administration," Mayor Coles said. "We look forward to working with the Administration on crafting national energy policy, among a host of other issues." Mayor Coles cited education, drug policy, and brownfields as other top priorities for the Conference. Visit the Conference website at to download a copy of Mayor Coles' "Priorities for the New American City," which outlines in detail top Conference priorities.

A full list of Conference leaders participating in the press event follows.

  • H. Brent Coles, Mayor of Boise and President, The United States Conference of Mayors
  • Marc. H. Morial, Mayor of New Orleans and Vice President, The United States Conference of Mayors
  • Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston and Advisory Board Chair, The United States Conference of Mayors
  • Patrick McCrory, Mayor of Charlotte and Chair, The United States Conference of Mayors Standing Committee on Energy and Environment
  • Wellington E. Webb, Mayor of Denver and Immediate Past President, The United States Conference of Mayors
  • Dennis Archer, Mayor of Detroit
  • Paul Schell, Mayor of Seattle
  • Judy Nadler, Mayor of Santa Clara (CA)
  • Lee Clancey, Mayor of Cedar Rapids (IA)
  • Patrick Henry Hays, Mayor of North Little Rock and Chair, The United States Conference of Mayors Gas and Electric Utility Restructuring Task Force

The United States Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.


Jubi Headley
(202) 861-6766 office
(202) 744-9337 cell

Kevin McCarty
(202) 293-7330