The Spokane City Council just after midnight adopted a plan aimed at cutting carbon emissions and reducing the city’s dependence on oil.
The 5-2 decision was the second time the council voted on a report finished last year by Mayor Mary Verner’s 13-member Sustainability Task Force. Council members Nancy McLaughlin and Bob Apple voted against the plan.
When the council took its first action on the plan, in May 2009, there were only enough votes on the council to “accept” the report. Since then, two City Council members have been replaced.
“I’m honored to have another opportunity to adopt” the report,” City Councilman Steve Corker late Monday night.
City officials say that new state rules require that the city have an “adopted” plan to reduce emissions to qualify for some state grants.
The report recommends several steps the city should take to cut its dependence on oil and reduce the city’s negative effect on climate change. Ideas include promoting energy-efficient construction and transportation. It also sets a goal for the city to acquire 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
Numerous people testified on both sides of the issue. Opponents questioned if the goals could force unwise spending. Some argued that plan is part of a conspiracy to create one-world government via the United Nations.
Supporters said the report will lead to cost efficiencies that will save not just energy usage, but tax dollars. They stressed that specific changes in policy to help meet the goals and recommendation still will need separate approval by the City Council.