USCM pursues more funding for energy efficiency block grants
Cities are using the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program to fund green programs, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM). Now, USCM is pushing Congress to continue the program.
The EECBG program allocates $2.8 billion directly to cities and counties to improve energy efficiency and spur economic growth in the green sector. Last week, USCM held a one-day meeting in San Francisco to discuss how cities in California — where EECBG is providing direct formula funding to 215 cities and 13 counties — are using the money to make local communities more energy efficient and to create green jobs.
During the conference, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom described how that city is using its block grant funding. “The EECBG program is allowing us to improve energy efficiency in almost 150 buildings serving San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods,” Newsom said. “More importantly, these energy efficiency projects create and sustain green jobs, save people money on their utility bills, and cut the city’s carbon emissions by more than 3,000 tons a year.”
USCM began pushing for the energy block grant in 2005 in conjunction with the introduction of a Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement to reduce carbon emissions in cities by 2012. During last week’s conference, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, immediate past chair of the USCM Environment Committee, spoke about USCM’s planned push this fall for more funding from Congress for EECBG. “Mayors know that green jobs and the new green economy are the future of America’s economic competitiveness,” Foster said. “This is why the [EECBG] program is at the top of our Mayors’ 2010 Metro Agenda for America, our MainStreet investment plan that focuses on putting people back to work and creating an economy that will lead the world for decades to come.”
Read the entire press release.