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Denver To “Sacrifice” To Reduce Emissions

From the lovers of Gaia at the Rocky Mountain News:

Denver targets global warming

Goal is equivalent of taking 500,000 vehicles off road

Denver is gearing up to fight global warming, and residents may soon be asked to make personal sacrifices to help save the planet…

The ambitious goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4.4 million metric tons by 2020, the equivalent of eliminating two small coal-fired power plants or taking 500,000 cars off the road.

Mayor John Hickenlooper has made the “climate action plan” a centerpiece of his second term in office. More than two dozen people from business and community groups met for several months with city staff to hammer out the plan. Many of them fear Colorado will be slammed hard by global warming, with more droughts and forest fires…

Much of the city’s plan involves finding ways to encourage energy conservation by mandating efficiency standards for new construction and setting standards for older homes that would be enforced when the home is sold.

The city also would give incentives for car pooling and the use of hybrids and other low-polluting vehicles, possibly by giving them priority in parking.

To cut back on use of landfills – methane gas from landfills is a major contributor to global warming – the plan would encourage recycling and charge residents for the amount of trash they throw away.

Denver may ask voters to approve higher rates for “excessive” use of electricity and natural gas. The plan also floats the idea of using insurance premiums to penalize people who drive long distances.

“You can think of them as penalties or you can think of them as market signals,” said Conover. “There’s some choice involved.”

Currently, Denver doesn’t charge for trash collection. The plan suggests a $10-a-month fee per household that would fund the replacement of alley trash bins with garbage cans. That would allow the city to charge households for extra garbage pickup

“This is not a trend or a city competition,” said Benita Duran, a CH2M Hill executive who co- chaired the group that put together the plan. “It’s a global matter of serious concern.” …

Points in proposal

Denver may ask residents to make personal sacrifices to combat global warming. Ideas being considered:

• Making heavy users of electricity and natural gas pay more

• Charging residents who throw away a lot of trash

• Setting energy-efficiency standards for new construction

• Giving carpoolers and hybrids priority for parking  …

Whatever happened to freedom?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 11th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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