Cities, Tribes Team Up for Renewable Energy

Organizations representing 150 American cities interested in climate protection and Indian tribes interested in developing renewable energy projects announced a campaign for national security through energy independence. This July, participating cities and tribes will deliver their declaration of energy independence to the White House door, as part of a broader effort to promote tapping one of the world’s richest clean energy resources – the wind blowing through Indian reservations in the Great Plains to supply clean energy to U.S. cities to reduce green house gas emissions.

Berkeley, California – March 11, 2004 [] The Energy Independence Day Campaign seeks to hasten the day when America is energy secure and independent with the production of clean, emission-free renewable energy. This joint campaign promotes tribally-owned clean energy projects to help meet the emission reduction goals of U.S. cities, according to Susan Ode, Outreach Director for ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, which leads the U.S. Cities for Climate Protection -CCP program. “Our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities through local actions designed to address global warming and improve the quality of life in our communities,” Ode said. Over 150 U.S. cities have pledged to voluntarily reduce their carbon emissions through conservation, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. “American Indians recognize the value of renewable energy in addressing climate change and in building sustainable homeland economies,” said Patrick Spears, president of the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy. “This campaign will bring rural tribes and local urban governments together for renewable generation and carbon emissions reductions.” Intertribal COUP is composed of federally recognized Indian tribes in the Dakotas and Nebraska, with affiliated tribes throughout the West. The organization promotes renewable energy policies based on tribal self-determination and ecological sustainability. COUP, working with Honor the Earth, is leading a collaborative intertribal effort for some 3,000 MW of tribally-owned windpower to be built on two-dozen Indian reservations across the Great Plains by 2010, according to Bob Gough, COUP secretary. “Bringing tribes from all across the country with tremendous renewable resources together with cities seeking to reduce the burning of fossil based fuels has created a natural alliance for true homeland energy security,” Gough said. The Energy Independence Day Campaign is open to any tribe, city or local government willing to commit to producing or promoting the purchase of utility scale renewable energy. Local governments and tribes can participate in the campaign through endorsement of the Declaration of Energy Independence, along with educational and promotional outreach, conservation and energy efficiency, or renewable energy purchases. Interested city and tribal representatives are scheduled to convene during the Denver March Pow-Wow on March 19th for a press conference and to officially endorse the Declaration of Energy Independence, which will be circulated among local governments throughout the country and be delivered to the White House on the 4th of July.
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