Goal to be 100% renewable electric energy for all county residents, business and operations by 2032
Coalville, UT (October 6, 2017) Summit County Council members showed their commitment to renewable electric energy by signing a resolution during Wednesday’s Council meeting, establishing a goal to help make the transition to clean, renewable electrical energy for residents, businesses and county operations by 2032. The resolution is the first of its kind for a county in Utah, and third confirmed county in the country, behind Marin County, California and Multnomah County, Oregon.
“Acting now can help reduce the negative impacts of climate change on our waterways, agriculture, snow pack and related economies. By setting this goal for ourselves we can benefit all residents of Summit County, and do so in a manner that will ultimately reduce expenditures on fuel and energy consumption,” said Glenn Wright, Summit County Councilmember.
In the near term, traditional electricity will still be needed to provide electricity when renewables cannot, however, the point is that the total amount of electricity used is equal to the total amount of power generated by clean, renewable resources like solar and wind.
The Resolution, which is available online, also establishes an aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal from county operations of 80% reduction from 2016 emissions inventory by 2040 and countywide by 2050.
Prior to Wednesday’s meeting the countywide emissions reduction goal was 15% below 2015 levels by 2030.
“This was a major part of the campaign I ran on and it’s something constituents reached out to discuss with me on a regular basis,” Wright said.
Wright was one of the five council members who voted unanimously Wednesday to pass the Resolution. He said the Council understands the urgency of taking more aggressive action to help reduce the harmful impacts of greenhouse emissions on human health and the natural world.
The Resolution provides specific objectives and reporting requirements that guide all County departments. including:
- Improving energy efficiency of county operations, residences and businesses
- Continued work to make the County fleet more efficient and cost less to operate
- Development of transportation planning to help reduce the need for vehicle trips
- Modifications to the solid waste program to capture energy, reduce methane emissions and reduce the need for future landfill cells.
- Collaboration with Rocky Mountain Power to accelerate the transition to renewable energy
- Seek opportunities to collaborate with other municipalities and partners to advance supporting legislation and policies
County staff will keep the County Council informed of progress and help the Council to budget for the near term investments that are offset by the reduction of life-cycle operating costs and co-benefits mentioned above.
“Global Warming is a serious threat to livability and economic viability of most of the world and the science shows that high altitude locales like Summit County are at increased risk. These are important goals that will require the engagement of all residents. Everyone needs to consider their contribution to the emissions emitted by our energy usage. By working together we can all help to achieve these goals,” said Wright.
About Summit County:
Located in the northeast corner of Utah along the Wasatch Back, Summit County is home to more than 41,000 residents. Created in 1854, Summit County was named for the summits of the mountains, including 39 of the highest mountain peaks in Utah. Six municipalities make up Summit County, including Coalville, Francis, Henefer, Kamas, Oakley and Park City. The county seat is quiet, scenic Coalville, located on the I-80 corridor. For more information visit www.summitcounty.org.
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