Energy Independence Goal Passed for Buncombe County, NC

Chris Carnevale | December 4, 2013 | Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy
Photo from Buncombe County Commission Meeting 2013-12-04
Local businessman, Drew Kitt, Business Development and Marketing Executive for Enovo Energy, speaks in support of the resolution.

Last night, North Carolina’s Buncombe County Board of Commissioners adopted an Energy Independence Resolution that commits the county to achieving an 80 percent reduction in its carbon footprint through an annual 2 percent reduction goal. Commissioner Brownie Newman of Asheville introduced the resolution, which directs the county to implement high-impact energy efficiency measures that will provide an excellent return on investment saving county taxpayers up to $1.2 million in the first five years.

The resolution passed by a 5-2 vote and strongly affirmed the imperative to act on climate change whether for economic or moral reasons and represents “one of the most ambitious clean energy commitments adopted by any local government in the country,” Commissioner Brownie Newman said at the meeting.

The public comment period of the meeting showed overwhelming public support for the measure and featured comments from citizens highlighting a wide range of benefits from the resolution including public health effects of reducing pollution; local job creation; preservation of the unique, beautiful Western North Carolina landscape; the reflection of the public’s will in public policy; and more. Business leaders, such as Drew Kitt from Enovo Energy, Marcus Renner from Conservation Pros, and Andrew Jones from Climate Interactive, expressed support for the resolution, as well as representatives from local conservation groups, concerned parents, academics, and other citizens. Citizen and Commissioner opposition to the resolution was a small but vocal minority in the room.

This resolution is a significant step for Buncombe County and helps position the county as a good steward of taxpayers’ money, protector of public health and the beauty of Western North Carolina as a common treasured place.

Photo of Jen Rennicks at Buncombe County Commission Mtg 2013-12-04
Jennifer Rennicks, SACE's Director of Policy and Communications, speaks to the Board of Commissioners about how asthma from fossil fuel pollution is the number one reason for school absences among school children in the United States.

Chris Carnevale
Chris is SACE’s Climate Advocacy Director. Chris joined the SACE staff in 2011 to help with building public understanding and engagement around clean energy solutions to the climate crisis. Chris…
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