DC passes bill to make city 100 percent renewable by 2032

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DC passes bill to make city 100 percent renewable by 2032

Ben Wilcox

Ben Wilcox

Ben Wilcox

Max Karp

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The DC Council unanimously voted to pass a bill making DC’s electricity 100 percent renewable by 2032. The DC Chapter of the Sierra Club fought to have the legislation passed. The ‘Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018’ aims to cut the city’s emissions and institute renewable energy sources in place of carbon-fueled products.

The bill was introduced by Councilmembers Mary Cheh, Charles Allen, Trayon White, Brianne Nadeau, and Chairman Mendelson in July of 2018. It was then passed in Council on December 18th by a vote of 13-0 in favor of the bill.

The environmental activist group Sierra Club advocated for the passing of the legislation in Council. The club’s DC Chapter Chair Mark Rodeffer believes that the bill is important in counteracting the negative effects of global warming. “If we do not take serious action now, it will be impossible to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, like catastrophic flooding, seemingly endless heatwaves and deadly sea level rise,” Rodeffer said.

Many Councilmembers voiced their support for the bill because of its direct efforts in protecting the environment. “This law moves forward important incentives in our community to create more renewable sources of energy and take steps to protect our local natural resources and air quality,” said Councilmember Allen of Ward 6. Councilmember Nadeau of Ward 1 agreed, adding that “reducing carbon emissions is not only good policy; we have a moral obligation to care for our environment and reduce our impact.”

Specifically, the bill will work to clarify and establish standards for transactions between electricity suppliers and renewable generators through purchase agreements. The bill also removes restrictions on energy efficiency measures and establishes an energy performance program for buildings at the Department of Energy and Environment, among other things.

Although the bill’s passage was seen as a step in the right direction by its supporters, many believe that their work is not done. “We must continue to decarbonize our economy and create the clean energy jobs of the future,” said Rodeffer, adding that the group is also focused on requiring DC’s electric utility to buy electricity from long-term contracts.

Wilson has ramped up its efforts in helping the environment from deteriorating, most visibly by creating a Recycling Club and Greenhouse Club.