Moab, Utah [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] On November 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Greater Moab, Utah, as the nation’s first Green Power Community. In August 2004, the City of Moab, Castle Valley, Pack Creek Ranch, and Spanish Valley became the first community in the nation to meet and exceed the EPA Green Power Partnership’s minimum benchmark for green power usage with voluntary purchases of renewable energy from Utah Power.“The U.S. EPA is delighted to recognize the Moab Area as the first Green Power Community for pioneering a collaborative and voluntary effort between businesses and residents to increase the area’s green power usage,” said EPA regional administrator Robbie Roberts. “By choosing green power, the Moab community members are demonstrating environmental leadership by supporting new, clean, renewable power facilities that generate electricity with less air pollution and no net increases in greenhouse gas emissions.” Green Power Communities are a new type of partner for EPA’s Green Power Partnership, which provides assistance and recognition to organizations that demonstrate environmental leadership by choosing green power. The Partnership recognizes Green Power Communities for having area homes, businesses, organizations, and local governments voluntarily commit to switch a portion of their collective electric power usage to green power through individual and organizational purchases. Moab was officially recognized by the EPA at the city’s annual folk festival. During a public ceremony, Matt Clouse, who is the director of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, presented the Mayor of the City of Moab and the Mayor of Castle Valley with plaques and a banner to recognize the milestone. By having 4 percent of the Moab Area Community’s electricity offset by green power, EPA estimates the environmental benefit is equivalent to avoiding the generation of 4 million pounds of carbon dioxide or planting roughly 750 acres of trees. “We are honored and excited to be ‘first in the nation’ as a green power community,” said Moab Mayor David Sakrison. “This designation clearly symbolizes our community’s commitment to both the development of renewable energy technologies and protecting our environment.” The City of Moab’s municipal government was recognized by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy in 2003 with a Green Power Leadership Award for its exemplary purchase of green power. The green power campaign in the Greater Moab Area was led by the Moab Green Power Steering Committee, which is made up of citizens, business leaders, and public officials and was aided by Utah Clean Energy and Utah Power.