80th Annual Meeting

WHEREAS, the nation faces unprecedented energy challenges, including rapidly escalating energy costs, over dependence on foreign sources of energy, and critical choices about energy resources that will affect the nation's future economic well-being and security; and

WHEREAS, ongoing federal investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy is critical to positioning America to be competitive in the global economy, increase American energy independence, build livable and sustainable communities, drive investment in new, clean energy solutions and create new, local jobs, aiding in our national economic recovery; and

WHEREAS, commercial, residential and public buildings are responsible for more than 40 percent of the nation’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and cities are best suited to improve and enforce building codes, foster community-scale renewable energy, and create other programs and incentives to increase efficiency and reduce energy use in commercial and residential buildings; and

WHEREAS, the transportation sector produces one third of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and cities can substantially reduce emissions and vehicle-miles traveled by promoting public transit and more effective land use and transportation planning; and

WHEREAS, cities have been laboratories of innovation, successfully pioneering and demonstrating cost-effective clean energy solutions, including increasing energy efficiency for public and private buildings, encouraging energy independence through the use of alternative energy sources, switching their fleets to alternative fuels and more fuel efficient vehicles; and building alternative infrastructure to encourage their citizens to utilize other forms of greener transportation; and

WHEREAS, local governments have also implemented programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through re-utilization of resources, reduction of energy consumption, and improving the environment through waste reduction and recycling programs, encouraging waste-to-energy technology, and capturing methane in landfills; and

WHEREAS, over 1,050 mayors have signed The U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging their commitment to reducing their communities’ greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent from their 1990 levels; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has endorsed a national goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050; and

WHEREAS, more than 430 local elected leaders from across America have called for additional federal resources for communities to implement greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability initiatives by endorsing the Climate Communities/ICLEI-USA Empowering Local Government Climate Action Blueprint; and

WHEREAS, successful local government programs could be expanded or replicated throughout the country, thereby resulting in nationwide reductions in energy use which will increase our nation's energy independence and competitiveness while improving our national and global environment; and

WHEREAS, many cities are not able to expand or implement the full range of these types of programs due to budgetary constraints; and

WHEREAS, the federal government, by supporting these types of local activities, would demonstrate its commitment to help solve some of the most important issues facing the nation - energy independence, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving the environment; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has previously conceived and called for the creation of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program that would provide money directly to city, county and state governments to implement innovative energy saving and environmental strategies; and

WHEREAS, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P. L.110-140) established a new EECBG program at the U. S. Department of Energy, authorizing $2 billion annually over five fiscal years in formula grants to cities, counties, and states to develop energy efficiency strategies to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

WHEREAS, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), a law established to stimulate the economy and create over three million jobs, provided $3.2 billion for the EECBG program to develop and implement energy efficiency programs in their communities; and

WHEREAS, local governments are successfully utilizing their ARRA EECBG funds to implement local strategies that create jobs, save energy, promote renewable sources, and cut greenhouse gas emissions; and

WHEREAS, the 2011 “Clean Energy Solutions for America’s Cities” report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that 85% of cities felt that ARRA EECBG funding was important to their city’s energy efforts and 87% supported the appropriation of additional EECBG funding in future years; and

WHEREAS, cities would benefit from knowing that a dedicated funding mechanism has been established for the EECBG to help them create better short and long term energy efficiency and conservation strategies in their communities,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to appropriate full funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program in Fiscal year 2013, while supporting higher authorization levels in future years.