D.C. Councilmember Proposes Global Warming Initiative

D.C. Councilmember Proposes Global Warming Initiative

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Councilmember Mary Cheh announced Thursday that she plans on proposing legislation regarding the emissions of carbon dioxide in the District.

Cheh’s announcement was lauded by environmentalists, including Chris Weiss, director of Friends of the Earth’s D.C. Environmental Network.

“Councilmember Cheh’s efforts in advancing Washington D.C.’s stance on global warming and renewable energies are to be commended,” Weiss said. “We look forward to working with Councilmember Cheh to make our capital cleaner and more energy efficient, as it should be.”

Cheh wrote the following in her letter to fellow council members:

“Mayor Fenty has already signed the Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement, committing the District to reducing our carbon dioxide emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. I propose to meet this goal by reducing our energy use and by increasing our reliance on renewable energy.”

As the chair of a hearing on the “Regulatory Structure of the Electricity Market in Washington D.C.” Cheh heard experts offer their advice for executing energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Cheh also chaired a hearing on “Government-Funded Energy Efficiency in the District of Columbia” on May 17 during which more than 50 witnesses testified.

The goal of the initiative, as Cheh puts it, is to have the District “lead by example.” Her four main proposals are as follows:

*Cut District Government energy use 15 percent by 2012, and 30 percent by 2020

*Reduce District Government peak energy demand 10 percent by 2012 and 20 percent by 2020

*Reduce citywide electricity use 5 percent by 2012 and 20 percent by 2020

*Require that 8 percent of our electricity come from renewable sources (e.g., solar, wind, geothermal, biomass) by 2012 and 20 percent by 2020

Cheh expects other council members to join her in refining and adding to the legislation over the next few months.