The city of St. Louis, Missouri committed to transition to fully renewable energy sources by the year 2035, becoming one of the largest US cities to do so. This decision flies in the face of the Trump administration’s recent policy positions, and helps the US to stay on track to meeting the goals laid out by the Paris Climate Agreement. The proposed energy transition initiative will allocate $1 billion towards fully renewable energy. The city plans to add 700 megawatts from wind power by 2020, with an additional 100 megawatts over the coming decade from solar power.
Although St. Louis is far from the first city to set similar goals, it is a remarkable move as the city currently is ninety-five percent powered by fossil-fuel sources. Not only that, it is also home of two of the nation’s largest coal companies. Other local businesses have made pledges to transition to fully renewable energy usage, including corporate giants such as Anheuser Busch and Nestle Purina. The city’s governing body is assembling a cohort composed of local workers, business leaders, administrators, and others to create a detailed plan for the transition.
It is remarkable to see the push towards a clean-energy future by non-federal government entities. In these times of often backwards-looking politics, it is a comfort to see that the American people can still decide their own fate through the actions of individuals, businesses, universities, as well as local and state governments. Currently, 47 cities have pledged to transition to 100% renewable energy, as well as four counties, and the entire state of Hawaii. As the people make their voices heard through local initiatives, congressional representatives will be forced to bend the will of their constituents and begin implementing carbon-neutral policies. More importantly, as renewable energy technology continues to develop, it will continue to push the prices of such technologies lower than non-renewable energy technologies. As a result, the American and international energy economy will naturally shift towards a clean-energy grid.
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