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Mayors Ask for $4 Billion Energy & Environmental Block Grant

The nation’s mayors have called for $4 billion in a Energy and Environmental Block Grant to help cities combat global warming. The announcement was made at the Winter Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“Cities are on the frontlines of climate change with mayors leading the way. But we can’t do it alone. We need the federal
government to be a real partner with us on the issues of climate protection and achieving energy independence. That is
why we are proposing an Energy and Environmental Block Grant,” said Conference President and Trenton, NJ Mayor
Douglas H. Palmer.

The block grant would provide funding directly to cities and urban counties for programs that improve community energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and decrease the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

According to the release, some cities have already created innovative programs to fight global warming without any support from the federal government:

  • Austin, TX Mayor Will Wynn promoting wind energy and plug-in hybrids.
  • Charlotte, NC Mayor Patrick McCrory building mass transit and engaging his community on smart land use planning.
  • Carmel, IN Mayor James Brainard promoting fuel efficiency, hydrogen cars, and massive tree plantings.

More than 372 mayors from all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, have signed onto the U.S. Mayors
Climate Protection Agreement
, led by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, where mayors have pledged to take actions to cut their
emissions in line with the Kyoto Protocols.

The mayors also outlined three requests of Congress:

  • Establish a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions and a flexible market-based system of tradable allowances
    for emitting industries;
  • Pass climate-friendly energy and transportation policies; create funding and incentives to help cities in their
    efforts to curb emissions; and
  • Create funding and incentives to help cities in their effort to curb emissions.
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