http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/02/10/council-action-monday-could-make-pleasanton-greenest-city-in-state


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - February 10, 2012

Council action Monday could make Pleasanton 'greenest city' in state

The Pleasanton City Council is expected to approve a broad-based Climate Action Plan (CAP) at a special meeting Monday that could make Pleasanton one of the greenest cities in California. Nearly three years in the planning stage, the new plan is aimed at creating a structure of regulations and goals on environmental issues to conform to a new state law, called AB 32, which requires that cities reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

The CAP to be voted on Monday also will comply with directives from the state Attorney General's Office and the Alameda County Superior Court that require the city to meet greenhouse gas emission standards.

Just as important, however, is that the new plan moves Pleasanton toward sustainability in the years to come as climate change and environmental concerns increasingly affect the quality of life for both businesses and residents here. To reduce emissions and improve water resources, the CAP includes provisions that will encourage the installation of charging stations in the city for battery-powered cars, bicycle racks downtown, free visits to homes by experts to discuss energy improvements, free water-saving devices, lighting upgrades to more energy efficient bulbs, solar panels on municipal buildings and irrigation audits of residential and business water customers in the city. Three charging stations were installed last month at the Pleasanton Civic Center and two others were installed downtown.

Several more onerous suggestions from state legislators and environmentalists are not part of the new CAP. They included parking meters and required energy upgrades for those selling their homes. Those and other "suggestions" for "cleaning up Pleasanton" haven't gone away; city planners just made sure they aren't in this current climate action plan. The CAP, several hundred pages in length, was prepared by Daniel Smith, director of Pleasanton Operations Services; Laura Ryan, energy and sustainability manager; and consultant Jeff Caton.

Years ago, the city of Pleasanton made a commitment to protect our environment and make this the greenest city in the state. Back then, the terms "climate change" and "carbon footprint" weren't commonplace for most cities and states, or even for most people. Now they are and city leaders here are to be commended for their early recognition and adoption of climate-friendly, sustainable management.

Monday night's special council meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave.

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