Environmental groups press city council candidates on climate issues

1 year 4 months 5 days ago Friday, March 10 2017 Mar 10, 2017 Friday, March 10, 2017 2:13:00 PM CST March 10, 2017 in News
By: Daniel Litwin, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Environmental advocacy groups hosted an open forum Friday to gauge potential city council members' attitudes toward climate issues and clean energy.

The forum, hosted by several sponsors including the Osage Group of the Missouri Sierra Club, was put in place three years ago to help voters understand candidate's positions on environment protection and public health.

"Many forums get held, most of them focus on other issues... we just wanted to make sure there was an opporunity to ask questions focused on the environment and climate change," said Carolyn Amparan, chair of the Osage Group.

Recurring topics each year include climate change and, more recently, making sure local development has minimal impact on the environment, specifically reducing stormwater runoff into Hinkson Creek.

One of the new questions at the forum was whether city council candidates supported making Columbia a 100 percent clean energy city by 2035. Columbia has a plan in place to reach 30 percent renewable by 2029.

"I'm for boosting renewable energy, whether that's encouraging homewoners to install solar panels or when it comes to trying to divest away from coal energy," said Andrew Hutchinson, a Ward One candidate. 

Currently, 17 cities in the United States are 100 percent renewable or have pledged to go completely renewable.

"We would like to see the city council take the next step, which is to develop a plan to get to 100 percent clean energy," Amparan said.

Candidates from wards one and five were present at the forum. Many shared similar opinions that reaching 100 percent clean energy was important for Columbia. However, they differed on how attainable it was by 2035.

"I think it's feasible. One of the ways we make it feasible is that we don't keep living the way we're living, using the same levels of energy" said Pat Kelley, Ward One candidate.

"I don't think that's reasonable to try to make that rapid of a shift," Hutchinson said. "Trying to get away from that much coal power is an incredibly hard thing to do." 

Kelley and Hutchinson did agree that anthropogenic, or human-caused, climate change was an issue and gave different ways on how it should be dealt with at a local level.

"We can do things where we're not traveling such far distances, we're not building houses that are always dependent on artificial life support systems, we're planting tree canopies, we're doing a lot things that people did hundreds of years ago to survive elements" Kelley said.

Kelley said she found out from the City Clerk's office Columbia has banking ties with UBS, a bank that's investing $336 million in the Dakota Access Pipeline.

"I think we can look at socially responsible banking practices," Kelley said.

Hutchinson said his trust in the state making environmental changes is low, and cities have a responsibility to make change on their own.

"Cities need to exert effort on the legislature informally but also exert effort in their own community to make up on climate change and green energy inititives, because the state will not be doing it," he added.

Amparan said the Sierra Club and the rest of the forum's sponsors hope the city council will keep promoting energy efficiency.

"Columbia has a history of being an environmentally friendly city, and we want to see that continue into the future," Amparan said.

The city council election for wards one and five will be held in April.

 

More News

Grid
List
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County deputies investigate a death at North Lakewood Drive and East St. Charles Road. Deputies... More >>
48 minutes ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:15:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County Sheriff's deputies will continue to patrol the Little Dixie Conservation Area Sunday night and into... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 9:10:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Ragtag Cinema showed the World Cup Final against France and Croatia Sunday on its movie screens free of charge.... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 7:53:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in Continuous News
BOONE COUNTY - Two cities in Boone County have higher numbers of traffic stops involving minorities, according to an annual... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 6:56:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
(CNN Money) -- Amazon has successfully invented a new shopping holiday, and it's set to capitalize on the rewards. ... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 5:19:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities shot and killed a man suspected of shooting three Kansas City police officers, a newspaper... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 1:34:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
CHICAGO (AP) — Footage from body cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a man who was shot and killed by... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 11:07:56 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A proposed ballot initiative aims to replace Missouri's system for drawing state legislative districts with a... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:46:43 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The amount of water being released into the lower Missouri River will likely remain above normal... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:27:00 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - 37-year-old Brett Davidson of Clarksville, Tennessee was pronounced dead after drowning in the Lake of the Ozarks,... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 9:53:00 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Senator Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley both met with supporters and volunteers Saturday at each of their... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 10:43:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 17-year-old from Jefferson City will be competing at the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, in August.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 6:50:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - House hunters are looking beyond Columbia due to a lack of middle-income housing in the city. Realtor... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 5:00:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
(CNN Money) -- Microsoft has helped innovate facial recognition software. Now it's urging the US government to enact regulation to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 3:22:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA — Seven cases of cyclosporiasis in Missouri may be linked to eating McDonald's salads, the Missouri Department of Health... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 2:33:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The U.S. homeland security secretary said on Saturday there are no signs that Russia is targeting this... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A paragliding protester hovered within surprising proximity of President Donald Trump on Friday night as the president admired... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 1:38:05 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some Missouri nurses will soon be able to take advantage of a pilot program that allows... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 11:00:00 AM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
8am 76°
9am 81°
10am 85°
11am 87°