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Cool Cities Victory!!! Morgantown Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
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by Jim Kotcon, Energy Committee Chair | 2009

Reduce Greenhouse gases, reduce energy costs and save the taxpayers some money! Sounds like a good deal for folks in Morgantown!

In 2006, the Monongahela Group of Sierra Club established a Cool Cities Committee to encourage the City of Morgantown to sign on to the US Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement. That Agreement pledged the City to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases to 6 % below 1990 levels by 2012. This means that Morgantown would be doing its share to meet the targets set in the Kyoto Climate Treaty.

The City Council approved the Agreement and the Mayor signed on in February 2007. As one of their first acts, City Council authorized the purchase of a hybrid electric vehicle for the City’s fleet, and later pledged that a new City Fire Station would be LEED-certified. But a comprehensive energy assessment was slow to get started, and long-term contracts to install energy efficiency improvements required changes in state statutes.

In May 2009, the City finally adopted a contract with CTL, Inc. to pay for the installation of energy efficiency measures through the long-term energy savings those would produce. By improving heating and cooling controls, installing more efficient lights, and better insulating City buildings, the City will reduce its municipal greenhouse gas emissions by over 20 % compared to 2008.

Does this mean we are done and can rest on our laurels? Unfortunately, no. Increases in energy consumption since 1990 mean that further emissions reductions are needed. Further efficiency improvements will be required, including more fuel efficient vehicles in the City fleet, more efficient street lights, and changes in operating procedures to encourage further savings.

But the contract with CTL is a major step forward, and demonstrates that not only is it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in West Virginia, but we can save taxpayers money doing it.

Way to go!

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