Boise is a beautiful city, with a growing local economy, great access to the outdoors, clean air, pristine water and open space.
But climate change is affecting Boise, with more frequent and intense forest fires leading to code purple air quality alerts, struggling fisheries, salmon killed by warm rivers, forests decimated by pine beetles and erratic ski seasons.
The exciting news is that Boise can be powered by 100 percent clean energy. Professors Mark Jacobson (Stanford) and Mark Delucchi (UC Berkeley) published a plan showing how the U.S. can achieve 100 percent carbon-free energy. In 2015, San Diego’s Republican mayor committed to providing 100 percent of city energy from clean, renewable energy by 2035. Austin has committed to 100 percent. Cities in climates like Boise’s — Aspen, Minneapolis, Grand Rapids — have committed. Burlington, Vt., is already at 100 percent.
Clean, carbon-free energy grows jobs. The 2014 U.S. census showed solar-industry employment grew 20 times faster than national average employment and added 50 percent more jobs than oil and gas pipeline construction plus crude petroleum and natural gas extraction industries together.
I am proud of Boise’s leadership in making Boise “America’s Most Livable City.” Let’s take the next step by committing to 100 percent clean, carbon-free electricity.
Lisa Hecht, Boise