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article imageFlorida city commits to 100 percent renewable energy plans

By Karen Graham     Nov 23, 2016 in Environment
St. Petersburg - The St. Petersburg, Florida City Council, in an unanimous vote, has formally approved the city's commitment to transition to 100 percent renewable energy, turning its back on fossil fuels.
The unanimous vote on Monday night dedicated $800,000 of the $1.0 million settlement the city received from the BP Oil Spill settlement funds to an “Integrated Sustainability Action Plan” (ISAP), reports North American Wind Power.
With its commitment, St. Petersburg joins 19 other American cities, from San Diego, Calif., to Greensburg, Kan., that have committed to doing away with fossil fuels entirely, in favor of clean and renewable energy sources.
San Diego  California is also a city committed to 100 percent renewable energy.
San Diego, California is also a city committed to 100 percent renewable energy.
U.S. Navy
In addition, St. Petersburg's plan includes a climate action plan, an impact report, cost analysis, and other strategies for the city to achieve a 5 STAR Community rating, writes the Sierra Club. This 100 percent clean energy plan builds on Mayor Rick Kriesman's executive order earlier this year that established a net-zero energy goal for the city.
Mayor Rick Kriseman issued the following statement: "The Integrated Sustainability Action Plan builds on my Executive Order on Sustainability by creating a road map to achieve the City's long-term sustainability goals. Working towards 100 percent clean energy and zero waste will help ensure that St. Pete remains a city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work and play."
Motherboard is reporting that while the action plan is a great thing, there is no timeline for the expected results of the initiative. But Mayor Kriseman has already said he will share more information on the ISAP at a press conference on December 9 at 2:30 PM on the steps of City Hall.
The Tampa Bay region is known for being environmentally friendly. They even have a seawater desalination facility capable of producing up to 25 million gallons of drinking water per day to the region. But most of Pinellas County voted Republican in the presidential election, while St. Petersburg voted Democrat.
Added to this is that Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott is a dyed-in-the-wool climate change denier who has consistently cut environmental regulations in favor of businesses. A state ballot on solar power was also defeated this year that would have put solar power leasing into the hands of Florida's power companies, and environmentalists say this could have resulted in higher energy costs.
Low-lying coastal floodplain wetlands are particularly vulnerable to saline inundation by rising sea...
Low-lying coastal floodplain wetlands are particularly vulnerable to saline inundation by rising sea-levels.
Southern Cross University/GeoScience
But St. Petersburg will move forward with their plan. And living along the western coast of Florida makes residents very much aware of the impacts of climate change. Some cities in Florida are already experiencing saltwater flooding in the streets and saltwater flowing into brackish and freshwater areas is already threatening marine life.
Emily Gorman, a member of the national environmental group the Sierra Club and the campaign manager for Ready for 100 St. Pete, says, “There was a clear need from a city to step up and take the lead on this. We as a coastal, low-lying city are on the front lines of climate change.”
More about st petersburg fla, 100 percent renewable energy, first city in florida, Global warming, fossil uels
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