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Support for the Climate Action Plan Update and 2020 Climate Goals

From: domainremoved <Mitchel>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2015 13:49:03 -0700

Dear Mayor Carleton and City Council Members,

In 2013, at the time that this Council adopted the community-wide 27%-by-2020 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, the path and resources needed to attain this target was not clear and there was understandable discomfort among some of you.

Since that time both of these issues have been adequately addressed and this goal is indeed attainable subject to strong support by this City Council for an option within the San Mateo County Community Choice Energy (CCE) initiative of a 100% renewable baseline portfolio for the Menlo Park community. With 100% as the standard portfolio, even with substantial opt-outs from the business community there will be a significant ongoing reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. When coupled with the other initiatives laid out in this CAP update that are already funded within the CIP, Menlo Park will attain or even exceed the target that you established.

Please carefully review the letter that Diane Bailey, Menlo Spark’s Executive Director, will share with you in regards to these agenda items, as this lays out the underlying calculations that support this contention.

Also, I am writing in continued support of the City of Menlo Park Climate Action Plan Update and 2020 Climate goals, both of which demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability that I am grateful for. City leadership and action on this important issue is timely, given the increased urgency of global climate change, as is evident from continued scientific observations across numerous fields.
I support the many measures laid out in the latest update to our Climate Action Plan as important steps to a more sustainable and vibrant City. The measures that stand out as key priorities to help the City achieve its 2020 climate goals involve clean power and sustainable building standards. While transportation measures to reduce our fossil fuel reliance are essential to meeting long term climate goals, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions will take time to phase in. In contrast a switch to renewable energy and clean building standards for new developments could phase in right away.

Some related points:

Clean Power is the single greatest action that the City of Menlo Park can take to reduce GHGs. Over 50 cities across the globe have committed to 100% renewable power, as the cost of renewable power has sharply declined over recent years to become competitive with conventional fossil fuel power. For example, Palo Alto supplies 100% renewable power at a much lower rate than Menlo Park power customers pay for grid power that is roughly 50% from fossil fuel plants.

· Menlo Park now has an opportunity to join San Mateo County’s Community Choice Energy (CCE) program to dramatically increase renewable power. The City should embrace this program but also needs to ensure that the program will maximize clean power, delivering as close to 100% renewable power as feasible.

· It is not often that a City plans for several million square feet of new commercial construction. Without new clean building standards, this building boom will prevent us from meeting our 2020 climate goals, adding significant new power and natural gas use as well as attracting many more vehicles. The City should create a Green District in the M2 to incorporate state of the art energy efficiency standards and building designs that avoid or minimize fossil fuel use.

· The upcoming building boom will also attract more commuters, customers and residents to and through Menlo Park, creating the need for much more infrastructure supporting alternatives to driving. This will not only reduce GHGs, it will relieve traffic.

· Menlo Park is in good company considering more sustainable building standards, as Mountain View considers more efficient, cleaner standards for new developments in North Bayshore and Palo Alto develops a Net Zero Energy district downtown; and as the state ushers in Net Zero Energy standards for new buildings.

Securing clean power for Menlo Park and developing clean building standards are the two most impactful steps that the City can take to reach its 2020 climate goals, and both are time sensitive. I urge the City to work swiftly with San Mateo County as the community energy program is developed to ensure that 100% clean power can be provided, and to educate residents and businesses about the upcoming changes.

I also would like to see the City act quickly to set new clean building standards as the pace of new developments picks up. The clean standards are an important means to put Menlo Park on a much lower carbon path. With your leadership, I envision a smooth transition to 100% renewable power in Menlo Park and a sustainable M2 District with clean building standards that we will create a healthy, vibrant city.

Many thanks for your continued efforts on behalf of our community,

Mitch Slomiak


Mitchel J. Slomiak

Menlo Spark

Received on Mon Oct 19 2015 - 13:50:29 PDT

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