June 27, 2009
Climate Communities secures resources for local governments in American Clean Energy and Security Act
National Co-Chair Larry Phillips calls local participation key to addressing climate change
Thanks to efforts by Climate Communities—a national coalition of local leaders co-chaired by King County’s Larry Phillips—the U.S. House of Representative’s historic climate change legislation includes federal resources for local climate actions such as those underway in King County.
"We founded Climate Communities to ensure national climate change funding reaches our local communities," said Phillips, co-founder of Climate Communities. "The inclusion of resources for local governments in the House’s cap-and-trade bill is a big win for King County. It will allow us to build our green economy and sustain and increase our actions to address climate change through clean energy, public transit, and green buildings."
The U.S. House on Friday passed the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454), proposed by Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA). The legislation is designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions and drive the development of renewable energy production. Through a national cap-and-trade system, the bill would reduce greenhouse gases 83 percent by 2050 from electric utilities, petroleum producers and importers, industrial stationary sources, vehicles and the transportation sector, and other sources.
Under Phillips’ leadership, Climate Communities worked with Representative John Dingell (D-MI) to include federal resources in the legislation for local climate actions. Local governments such as King County are critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by promoting green buildings, increasing public transit and cleaner vehicles and fuels, fostering community-scale renewables, building green infrastructure, creating green jobs and businesses, and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Phillips has worked to ensure King County is a national leader in addressing climate change. He has advocated for King County’s founding participation in Climate Communities and the Chicago Climate Exchange, supported increases in public transit, and sponsored county legislation for green buildings and green vehicles.
"The House’s milestone climate change legislation will help America achieve some of our most critical national objectives—energy independence and national security, economic competitiveness and job creation, and protection of the environment and our public health," said Phillips. "That it also includes resources for local governments to take community-level action is a critical addition to this national movement."