RAPID CITY, S.D. - Organizations representing 150 American cities
interested in climate protection and Indian tribes interested in developing
renewable energy projects have announced an unprecedented campaign for
national security through energy independence.
This July, participating cities and tribes will deliver their declaration
of energy independence to the White House door, as part of a broader effort
to promote tapping one of the world's richest clean energy resources - the
wind blowing through Indian reservations in the Great Plains to supply
clean energy to U.S. cities to reduce green house gas emissions.
"The Energy Independence Day Campaign seeks to hasten the day when America
is energy secure and independent with the production of clean,
emission-free renewable energy. This joint campaign promotes tribally-owned
clean energy projects to help meet the emission reduction goals of U.S.
cities," said Susan Ode, Outreach director for ICLEI - Local Governments
for Sustainability, which leads the U.S. Cities for Climate Protection -
CCP program. "Our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the
burning of fossil fuels and other human activities through local actions
designed to address global warming and improve the quality of life in our
communities," said Ode.
More than 150 U.S. cities have pledged to voluntarily reduce their carbon
emissions through conservation, energy efficiency and the use of renewable
energy. "American Indians recognize the value of renewable energy in
addressing climate change and in building sustainable homeland economies.
This campaign will bring rural tribes and local urban governments together
for renewable generation and carbon emissions reductions," said Patrick
Spears, president of the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy (COUP,
pronounced "coo"), headquartered in South Dakota.
Intertribal COUP is composed of federally recognized Indian tribes in the
Dakotas and Nebraska, with affiliated tribes throughout the West. COUP
promotes renewable energy policies based on tribal self-determination and
ecological sustainability. "COUP, working with Honor the Earth, is leading
a collaborative intertribal effort for some 3,000 MW of tribally-owned
windpower to be built on two-dozen Indian reservations across the Great
Plains by 2010," said Bob Gough, COUP secretary.
"Bringing tribes from all across the country with tremendous renewable
resources together with cities seeking to reduce the burning of fossil
based fuels creates a natural alliance for true homeland energy security
and it's a 'no regrets' response to global warming," Gough said.
The Energy Independence Day Campaign is open to any tribe, city or local
government willing to commit to producing or promoting the purchase of
utility scale renewable energy. Local governments and tribes can
participate in the campaign through endorsement of the Declaration of
Energy Independence, along with educational and promotional outreach,
conservation and energy efficiency, or renewable energy purchases. "By
encouraging businesses and households to purchase tribally-generated
renewable energy or equivalent energy credits, local governments can
achieve some or all of their emission reduction goals consistent with their
communities' global warming reduction strategy," according to Ode.
"This rural-urban/tribal-cities partnership can create thousands of good
jobs, foster markets, efficiently and cost-effectively reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, and build ecologically sustainable economies based on the
clean generation and efficient use of renewable energy," Gough said.
The Declaration of Energy Independence will be circulated among local
governments throughout the country and be delivered to the White House on