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Blaine County Communities Sign On To Clean Energy Goals

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In Blaine County, the coronavirus pandemic has not gotten in the way of ambitious goals for a more sustainable future.

 

  

The city of Ketchum is the latest Blaine County municipality to sign onto a resolution outlining clean electricity and energy goals.

The resolution was drafted by the grassroots organization, Hailey Climate Action Coalition, which was formed in 2019. The group based the goals on the Sierra Club’s clean energy platform.

Municipalities that sign on agree that by 2030, their own buildings and vehicle fleets will be powered by clean energy sources. 

They also agree that by 2035, the whole community’s electricity should come from 100% clean energy sources. By 2045, that commitment would include all other energy uses, such as transportation.

“So that’s everything from leaf blowers to snow blowers to your car, to your house, to your heating source, to your water heater, to your dryer,” said Elizabeth Jeffrey, a leader of the Hailey organization. 

Hailey and Blaine County elected officials already passed the resolution to commit to these goals, which Jeffrey said were “aggressive,” but necessary. 

She said, if anything, the pandemic has brought a sense of urgency to the effort.

“COVID has definitely made it clear to us that the longer you wait to solve the problem, the less likely you are able to solve the problem,” Jeffrey said.

In Idaho, the city of Boise has also made a commitment to 100% clean energy by 2035, and the utility Idaho Power intends to meet that goal by 2045.

Next month, the Wood River Valley leaders that sign onto the resolution, along with stakeholders from the school district, airport and hospital, for example, will begin convening as part of a lengthy process to outline how the valley will meet these goals. 

By August of 2021, the group will have an action plan for 100% clean energy and by January of 2022, the plan will be voted upon by cities and the county.

Sun Valley, Carey and Bellevue are next in line to hear presentations from the Hailey Climate Action Coalition.

 

Follow Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen for more local news.

 

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