This evening the Boulder City Council will hold a study session on the city’s climate action plan, transportation and renewable energy strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’ll be attending.
A study session is a meeting of city council members and staff to go over current and upcoming issues, discuss topics, and give staff/consultants direction. The public is welcome to observe, but no public comments, questions, or statements are taken. However, the public may be asked questions. No formal voting takes place.
According to the 65-page memorandum from the Boulder Dept. of Environmental Affairs to the City Council, this session will provide an update on initiatives undertaken as part of Boulder’s Climate Action Plan (CAP, see backgrounder), and the Transportation Master Plan’s FasTracks Local Optimization (FLO) initiative (a planned transportation system in Boulder that will integrate regional rail and bus rapid transit, expected to be implemented around 2014-16).
Also tonight, Environmental Affairs will introduce its draft renewable energy strategy for the city.
Apparently, council has been pushing the city’s Climate Smart program to pursue emissions cuts more aggressively….
According to the memorandum, “At City Council’s annual retreat in January 2008, council identified a list of potential work items that were categorized as ‘Climate Action Plan’ and indicated an interest in ‘accelerating’ or being more aggressive in achieving the CAP goals. Further, council expressed interest in addressing existing home and commercial building efficiency through further regulations and incentives, including low interest financing. Council also discussed the role of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) in helping to achieve CAP goals and considered establishing a path to move the city organization towards energy independence.”
Regarding improving building efficiency, the materials for tonight’s study session includes a report from the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project on “national, state and local commercial above-code programs. Most of the programs highlighted are designed to achieve a 30% or greater improvement in energy performance in commercial buildings.”
The following questions are provided for council’s consideration.
1. Does council have questions or comments about the draft renewable energy
strategy to achieve energy independence for the city organization?
3. Would council like staff to proceed with further evaluation of regulatory options
to improve energy efficiency in existing residential buildings? For commercial
4. For new construction, does council want to see a full scale commercial green
building code, or an interim code that addresses energy? If a full scale program,
does council want staff to begin the process before the third quarter of 2008?
5. Should staff proceed with implementing the enhancements to CAP programs and
services (that require increased CAP funding) as the next phase of CAP
implementation to move the city closer to the 2012 GHG goal?
6. Does city council want to set additional and longer-term greenhouse gas reduction
goals, building on the current 2012 goal?
7. Does council have any questions or comments regarding the set of transportation
demand management policy initiatives; and where on the “dial” should staff
explore further to support the CAP and VMT reductions?
8. Does council have any questions or comments about increasing the CAP tax in
order to enhance CAP programs and services (to implement the next phase of the
CAP, estimated to achieve 85 percent of the Kyoto goal)?
9. Does council have questions or comments on transportation funding; and does
council still support staff’s exploration of options for additional funding for
Transportation to pursue GHG and VMT reduction goals, create community
connections and to optimize the benefits of FasTracks improvements?
• Does council agree with staff further investigating the range of “Action” Plan
level of funding as represented by the Blue Ribbon Commission example(s)
and the FLO-modified Action Plan?