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Seattle Makes Clean Energy Commitment for Earth Day

The Seattle City Council recently adopted a proposal to meet the city's future electricity needs with no net emissions of "greenhouse gas."

In recognition of Earth Day 2000, April 22, Mayor Paul Schell and the City Council's Energy Committee said they hoped that this commitment would challenge other communities to tackle global warming.

"Climate change is the world's most urgent environmental challenge," said Schell. "But it is also very much a local issue. In Seattle, we can demonstrate that we take global warming seriously by ensuring that City Light provides clean electrical energy.

Seattle City Light, the city's municipally owned utility, will meet the goal with energy conservation, relying on existing renewable hydropower and developing new renewables such as wind, geothermal, solar and landfill gas.

If fossil fuel use is necessary, the city will offset the emissions through other measures such as forest protection.

The Earth Day resolution also marks Seattle's major environmental accomplishments in other areas.

"Seattle has a good story when it comes to the environment," said Councilmember Heidi Wills.

She cited several achievements including water conservation programs that have kept region wide consumption below 1980 levels despite a population increase.

Likewise, Seattle has seen recycling rates that surpass any other municipality in the world and that have saved the city and its residents more than $12 million since 1987.

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