On May 10-11, the U.S. Conference of Mayors held a National Summit on Energy and the Environment (press release). They put together a document of best practices (PDF) developed in their various cities. And they agreed to develop a Energy/Environment Conservation Action Agenda (they sure do love capital letters, those mayors) to be released at their annual meeting in June. Here are six steps to be included in the agenda:
1) Invest more money in transportation options including public and mass transit, bike paths, etc.
2) Encourage at the local, state, and federal level the building or rehabilitation of more energy efficient buildings in both the public and private sector.
3) Encourage automakers to make more energy efficient cars as well as encouraging individuals to buy vehicles that are more energy efficient including alternative fuels, hybrids, and plug- in hybrids.
4) Encourage more investment in renewable and alternative energy through additional incentives.
5) Encourage more mixed-use development to allow people to have more walkable communities.
6) Encourage the public and private sector, as well as citizens, to do their part in conserving energy.
I suppose it’s to be expected that city leaders are somewhat wiser and more judicious than national politicians — there’s more direct accountability and fewer opportunities for media posturing. But we’re talking several orders of magnitude here. Why the massive disconnect?