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Portland Commits to 100% Renewables, Joins 25 Other Cities
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury made the announcement Monday at the June Key Delta Community Center in North Portland—the site of a former gas station-turned green building.
Portland is likely the largest city in the U.S. to take this ambitious step, the Sierra Club told the Portland Business Journal. The two areas join 25 other communities that have made similar announcements.
According to Oregon Live, the plan involves meeting all electricity needs from renewable sources by 2035. To up the ante, fossil fuels for heating and transportation will also be phased out by 2050.
Wheeler acknowledged that this commitment would not be easy.
"They will be difficult to achieve," the newly elected mayor said.
"We're actually going to have to make deliberate steps, and deliberate investments, and deliberate policy changes in order for this to become a reality," Wheeler said, adding "and I'm committed to that."
Oregon Live noted that "the city and county can lead the way in some respects, but much of the heavy lifting will depend on utilities and the market for electric vehicles accelerating." For instance, utilities like Portland General Electric will have to quickly phase out coal and other fossil fuels.
As EcoWatch mentioned previously, committing to 100 percent renewables is not as far-fetched as it seems. The Solutions Project, which is aiming to make clean energy accessible and affordable for all, is advocating for towns, cities, states and even the whole country to convert its energy infrastructure to renewables.
The Solutions Project team published a study and roadmap illustrating how each U.S. state can replace fossil fuels by tapping into the renewable resources they have available, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, as well as small amounts of tidal and wave power.
The authors found that converting the nation's energy infrastructure into renewables is ideal because it helps fight climate change, saves lives by eliminating air pollution, creates jobs in the rapidly booming renewable energy sector and also stabilizes energy prices.
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Low-Fat Diets Rich in Fruits and Veggies May Reduce Women’s Risk of Breast Cancer Death, Study Finds
Colorado senator and 2020 hopeful Michael Bennet introduced his plan to combat climate change Monday, in the first major policy rollout of his campaign. Bennet's plan calls for the establishment of a "Climate Bank," using $1 trillion in federal spending to "catalyze" $10 trillion in private spending for the U.S. to transition entirely to net-zero emissions by 2050.
When Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in August 2018, its own estimates said the reduced regulations could lead to 1,400 early deaths a year from air pollution by 2030.
Now, the EPA wants to change the way it calculates the risks posed by particulate matter pollution, using a model that would lower the death toll from the new plan, The New York Times reported Monday. Five current or former EPA officials familiar with the plan told The Times that the new method would assume there is no significant health gain by lowering air pollution levels below the legal limit. However, many public health experts say that there is no safe level of particulate matter exposure, which has long been linked to heart and lung disease.