77th Annual Meeting

FEDERAL POLICY AND LOCAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY, CONSERVATION AND RENEWABLE ENERGY

WHEREAS, Congress is currently considering legislation that would increase federal support for long distance transmission of electricity from remote location; and

WHEREAS, transmission is only one of many ways to address the future energy needs; and

WHEREAS, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 already contains generous financial incentives for additional construction of transmission lines as well as backup authority for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve and site transmission lines; and

WHEREAS, numerous bills have been introduced in Congress that would increase the attractiveness to utilities of building new transmission lines, ranging from legislation that would severely limit approval periods by state regulatory commissions on utilities' planned transmission lines and routes to the creation of a new private entity with the power to determine which transmission lines will be built with little or no outside scrutiny; and

WHEREAS, energy efficiency, energy conservation, localized renewable energy production and local smart grid initiatives could bring jobs closer to home, reduce energy consumption and lower consumers bills, and moving clean power generation closer to the demand centers can bring local job benefits and make the electric grid less dependent on long distance transmission; and

WHEREAS, according to studies sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists, additional transmission lines into the East Coast could have the effect of undermining regional greenhouse gas initiative restrictions, and increasing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has been calling for strong and sustained federal partnership commitments to support city and community-based energy efficiency and conservation initiatives and localized renewable energy development, principally through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors does not support legislation that would divert the necessary focus from emerging local efforts that seek to reduce electricity demand and lower consumers' bills through energy efficiency and clean distributed local generation, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports federal commitments to community-based energy conservation and efficiency initiatives, demand management and localized renewable energy production have been more fully developed and supported with stronger federal funding commitments as well as legislation addressing the nation's broader climate protection challenges through a "cap and trade" and other legislation is enacted.