FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
25 July 2018
Spokane to adopt 100% renewable electricity goal
Spokane is set to become the second city in Washington to commit to 100% renewable electricity
Spokane, WA — The City of Spokane may become the second city in Washington to commit to 100 percent clean and renewable sources of electricity. Today the Spokane City Council formally filed for consideration a resolution and ordinance that would call for an update to the city’s Sustainability Action Plan and commit the city to the goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable electricity for the entire city by the year 2030. This resolution will make Spokane the first city in the Inland Northwest (and the 75th city in the country) to commit to 100 percent clean electricity.
“As a respiratory physician, I clearly recognize the importance of clean air for everyone’s lung health, as well as for our cardiovascular and general health,” explains Dr. Sam Joseph, D.O., Pulmonary and Critical Care in Spokane and member of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Relying on combustible, non-renewable sources is risking our health and way of life. Supporting renewable energy has been shown to yield tangible and significant health benefits, and the City of Spokane can be a powerful leader in protecting our health and moving towards a clean energy future.”
The 100% renewable electricity resolution was sponsored by many local organizations, from business groups like the Spokane Independent Metro Business Association and religious communities like Westminster Congregational to nonprofit organizations like The Lands Council and the Center for Justice. The lead sponsor and organizing force behind the resolution was the local climate action group 350 Spokane. Founded by local citizens in 2017, 350 Spokane circulated a petition signed by hundreds of Spokane residents and more than a dozen organizations. It also helped to organize the Clean Energy Spokane Task Force, which worked on the original language for the resolution and included City Council members, citizens, and representatives from Avista.
“Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ is in full support of the resolution to move the city of Spokane toward using energy from renewable sources,” explains Steven Paulson, Moderator, Westminster Congregational Church. “We believe that by supporting this resolution we are acting out our call to be good stewards of God’s Creation. We strongly urge others to join us in this effort.
In addition to the 100% renewable electricity resolution, the City Council will also vote on an ordinance that creates a permanent Sustainability Action Commission. This unpaid, all-volunteer group of citizens and community leaders will be charged with updating Spokane’s existing Sustainability Action Plan to include specific plans to achieve City and State mandated greenhouse gas emission reductions and to develop strategies to make Spokane more resilient to a changing climate, including prolonged wildfire seasons and reduced summer river flows.
“The Lands Council applauds Spokane City Council for its leadership and pragmatism,” notes Mike Petersen, Executive Director of The Lands Council. “We encourage city leaders and Avista to take the next step to transition away from relying on fossil fuel-based electricity and embrace the transition to clean, renewable electricity from the sun, the wind, and the water.”
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