The President sucked a lot of the media air from other green news this week (or was it a lot of hot air?) with his statement on alternative energy-powered cars in his State of the Union address. But the SOTU wasn't the only energy policy news out there this week. On the other end of the power-spectrum, U.S. mayors issued a call on Thursday to ask for a $4 billion Energy and Environmental Block Grant (for comparison: $4 billion is about half of one month's payment for U.S. military operations in Iraq). The U.S. Conference of Mayors is also calling for a "Climate of Change" in D.C., and props to the ad wizards who came up with that phrase.

The idea behind the block grant would be to let the cities decide themselves best how best to:
  • improve community energy efficiency
  • reduce carbon emissions
  • decrease the nation's dependence on foreign oil
After all, while the U.S. shies away from the Kyoto Protocol (or a successor treaty), there is a "U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement" which started in Seattle and the mayors who have signed it (376 so far) have "pledged to take actions to cut their emissions in line with the Kyoto Protocols."

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, co-chair of the Mayor's Council on Climate Protection, says that, "In Seattle, we are showing that you can power a city without toasting a planet. Now we need our leaders in Washington to step up to the forefront of the effort to protect our climate by adopting the aggressive but achievable goal of cutting emissions 80 percent nationwide by 2050."

[Source: U.S. Conference of Mayors]


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