The Las Cruces City Council held a recent meeting on April 6th, 2021, to discuss renewable energy advancement and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And the council made two resolutions to deal with these two issues. The councilors approved a resolution unanimously, urging the city governments and all their departments to transit from gas-fueled cars to electric vehicles targeting to have at least 50% of the municipality vehicles going electric this decade. This resolution also urges other city departments to invest in cleaner transportation systems like electric buses and bike-sharing.
A report from the city claims that 53% of greenhouse gas emissions result from the deteriorating transport system where the city vehicles make up 2% of the emissions. The purchase of cement and asphalt emits about a similar percentage with city vehicles. When dealing with electric cars’ affordability, the city plans to work with national organizations to purchase affordable EVs to its fleet and invest in the necessary infrastructure to promote electric vehicles’ mass adoptions.
The city’s fleet manager, Richard DeWitt, will work alongside city mechanics in electric vehicle training and procure the necessary charging technology to maintain electric vehicles. Lisa LaRocque, the city’s sustainability officer, claims that they are planning on tracking around 250 cars up to their replacement time and see if electric vehicle replacement is possible.
The second resolution the city councilors approved involves developing a plan to reduce the city’s dependence on natural gas and invest in renewable power sources. After the council’s approval, Delilah Walsh, the city Utility director, claims that the goal will soon be incorporated into Las Cruces’ long-term plans. The District 5 councilor Gill Sorg commented on the issue, stating that the goals they have are similar to what the Federal government aims to set. In the meeting, Gill requested the energy transition to take place gradually in the next three decades and the city to avoid investing in new gas-related projects.
Delilah Walsh stated that the sustainability goals don’t aim to make life hard for businesses or the people, but it is a critical step in maintaining the environment. The city wants to make clean energy available for all and will put up incentives in the future to encourage mass adoption of clean energy. Las Cruce City set up a climate action plan to reduce emissions by 19% by 2030 and 73% by 2050 from the set baseline in 2018.
These new resolutions are milestones to achieve the 2018 resolution to move to renewable energy by 2050 and a short-term goal of having 25% renewables by 2022. In recent years, Las Cruces City is showing impressive support for green measures.https://nmtribune.com/