Dallas is Proud of Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions By a Third, and Thinks You Should Drive Less

Categories: City Hall

GlobalWarming.jpg
Flickr
The city of Dallas is doing its part, Mr. Polar Bear. It's the people that live here who are screwing it up for you.
Back in 2006, Mayor Laura Miller joined with her colleagues across the country to sign the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, a promise to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions by seven percent below 1990 levels by 2012, It was just Dallas doing in its part to chip in on the probably futile effort to prevent the planet from becoming a scorched ruin.

So how'd we do? According to city staff, pretty damn well. Because this is Dallas and it's how we roll, we didn't stop at seven percent, not even 14 percent. Per today's presentation to the City Council's Environment and Transportation Committee, Dallas cut its carbon emissions by a third.

The short answer is that the city started buying a shitload of its electricity (about 40 percent) from renewable sources. There have been other contributors to the reduction, like the replacement of incandescent light bulbs with more efficient models and the use of methane at the landfill and water plant as a fuel source, and the conversion of a third of city vehicles to run on biodiesel. But because electricity accounts for 3/4 of the city's emissions, buying low-carbon electricity has by far had the largest impact.

Of course, the city itself accounts for a miniscule sliver of the greenhouse gas emissions in Dallas, which have decreased since 2005 but are maybe 20 percent higher than in 1990. That's partly a function of population growth, partly that people are driving greater distances. The community's share of greenhouse gas emissions is expected to continue rising at least through 2020, albeit modestly.

So how does the city plan to combat the trend? There aren't a whole lot of answers on this one. City staff suggests encouraging transit-oriented development around DART stations, create jobs close to where people live, particularly in South Dallas, so workers don't have to travel from DeSoto to Richardson to get to work, and work with the North Central Texas Council of Governments on strategies aimed at reducing the number of miles driven.

Meanwhile, the city continues to work to further reduce its carbon footprint. It will do this with, among other things, a lot of solar panels. We're talking panels on the convention center roof and in the plaza overlooking the cemetery. Maybe a 100-acre solar farm on land owned by Dallas Water Utilities. And photovoltaic panels and solar hot water heaters at each of the city's 118 police and fire stations. They would pay for themselves in 11.5 years.

Those things are all in the works. They'll be moving forward this fall.


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
5 comments
BG
BG

Good thing they have you, since you don't know anything.

BG
BG

"We already know the answers".  " I guess it comes down to how you look at the information."  If "we" KNOW the answers, then it doesn't come down to how you look at the information.  That is called an opinion, not a fact.  Get both straight and then try to clearly present your thoughts.  You say you're not a writer?  It is pretty obvious.

Marianagriggs
Marianagriggs

A free market would be great, if only industries were people and had a conscience. The briefing yesterday was bothersome because there is no initiative to be aggressive as a city to do the right thing. People should be able to protect themselves if they know the facts, but all of you are commenting that the facts are skewed or obstructed in this case. That's not the right thing.  In loyalty of individual liberty and in fairness to the sanctity of your free market idea, what happens when industries' needs spew into my needs? I emailed Linda Koop yesterday and I hope you do the same. The math needs to add up and, as upsetting as it may be to some, we all share the same air and water. As citizens of Dallas we deserve our proportional reward-our share of clean air and clean water-we should all be fighting to get that Thanks,MG "Linda, I'm worried that this type of activity (shale drilling) will bring lots more pollution to our city and I actually believe that it is already producing more days when I don't feel good going outside most of the day. The air is stifling! I'm an organic urban farmer, that means I can't work under those conditions. Please think of this as we proceed along the process of making a new ordinance for drilling and as you congratulate someone for something during today's committee meeting. Thanks for your time and patience. These are tough topics to consider but we all breathe the same air and cannot afford to waste our natural capital just because we are threatened by business interests which do not always focus on quality of life issues.  Thanks again, Mariana"   http://www.texassharon.com/2012/06/11/big-gas-leak-in-cresson-texas-at-newly-fracked-well/

Timetomoveon
Timetomoveon

"Numbers are the numbers. right?" Except when it comes to things liberals disagree with, right? Like race and crime Or Obama's spending

darrd2010
darrd2010

I guess it comes down to how you look at the information. There's DFW air and then there is Dallas air. Both have different sets of numbers as exhibited today at 1500 Marilla. Boy, I'm glad that our plastic dome  over the City of Dallas is impervious to all the pollution from surrounding cities that pollute worse than us. Otherwise, we would be screwed. Whew! I'm not a writer, just a regular who knows how the game is played at 1500 Marilla and also more behind the scenes bullshit than you would ever want to know.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...