Environmental groups press city council candidates on climate issues

1 year 7 months 1 week 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
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $1 billion, as the second-largest lottery... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 12:10:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police want the public's help finding a man who allegedly ran from a traffic stop after hurting... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 11:42:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Just 1 in 4 people thinks Brett Kavanaugh was completely honest when as a Supreme Court nominee... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 9:58:13 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The US moved closer to acknowledging the role of Saudi Arabia in journalist Jamal Khashoggi's apparent death as... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 9:36:16 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
RANDOLPH COUNTY - MoDOT announced they will close Randolph County Route CC from Route FF to Route K on Monday,... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 8:30:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
FLORISSANT (AP) — Authorities have arrested a suburban St. Louis student after finding a loaded gun and a razor inside... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 7:46:15 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man has been sentenced to life in prison in the 1984 beating death... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 7:10:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City doctor has been sentenced to a year in federal prison for his... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 6:51:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican opponent Josh Hawley were sometimes heated and often derisive as they... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 9:02:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce will discuss the possibility of collaborating for a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Friday... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:16:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Issues like Proposition D, Vision Zero and more were discussed at Thursday night's Transportation Committee Meeting in Columbia.... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
MEXICO - October is domestic violence awareness month and businesses across Mexico are showing their support for survivors by decorating... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:02:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican opponent, Josh Hawley, are hoping for a debate win tonight... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 5:43:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Latest on the trial of two maintenance workers charged with misleading investigators after a 10-year-old... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 5:09:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of people gathered for the grand opening of CenterPointe Hospital on International Drive Thursday. Governor Mike... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The influence of lower prices and convenience are affecting the way millennials approach primary care, according to... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:38:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU honored Dr. George Smith, the first Nobel Prize winner in university history, with a reserved space to... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:30:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Police arrested a man Wednesday after a search warrant led to finding five gallon-sized bags of marijuana. ... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:08:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
2pm 55°
3pm 56°
4pm 59°
5pm 59°