Mayor Faulconer joins launch of nationwide energy coalition

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – On the heels of enacting one of the most ambitious climate action plans in the country, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer joined seven other mayors Thursday in launching a nationwide initiative, the Energy Secure Cities Coalition (ESCC), a group of cities dedicated to saving taxpayer money by transitioning their municipal fleets from petroleum-fueled vehicles to vehicles powered by alternative fuels, like electricity and natural gas.

“The City of San Diego isn’t just a city dedicated to clean technology and renewable energy, we’re a city dedicated to being a global leader in environmental sustainability. In San Diego, we united local environmental, business and government leaders to increase the number of zero emission vehicles in our municipal fleet to 90 percent by 2035. I’m proud to join this collaborative nationwide campaign to show we can help to make our world a cleaner, safer place," Mayor Faulconer said.

“With 92 percent of our transportation sector powered by a single fuel — oil — our local economies are dangerously exposed to a volatile, unpredictable global oil market. Cities are America’s centers for innovation, and it is absolutely essential we put that talent to good use protecting us from oil supply disruptions and economically devastating price spikes. And the more we do here at home to lessen our reliance on oil, the more we help our soldiers abroad, who are all too often forced to intervene to protect supply infrastructure in unstable parts of the world," said Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) President and CEO Robbie Diamond.

For San Diego, moving toward advanced fuels will offer budget relief while reducing its dependence on oil and exposure to the volatile global oil market. In addition to San Diego, the ESCC includes Atlanta, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Orlando, Fla.; Rochester, N.Y.; Sacramento Calif.; and West Palm Beach, Fla.

The City of San Diego is the largest city to set the goal of 100 percent renewable energy. The City of San Diego owns and maintains 40 hybrid passenger vehicles in the current fleet and plans to grow the inventory of hybrid/electric vehicle passenger vehicles by up to 200 vehicles each year over the next five years. The City of San Diego will also work to replace approximately 140 low sulfur diesel fuel solid waste collection vehicles with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) over a six-year span in fiscal year 2017.

Lastly, the City of San Diego will also convert 20 percent of non-public safety, light- and medium-duty trucks to alternative fuel models in the next three to five years.

By joining the ESCC, the City of San Diego can take advantage of a network for cities to learn from each other before, during and after the fleet conversion process, participating in a forum in which municipalities can share best practices on communicating their goals, engaging their communities, recognizing obstacles and solving problems.

The ESCC plans to grow to at least 25 cities with the goal of taking 50,000 petroleum-powered vehicles off the road, saving 500,000 barrels of oil every year and protecting city budgets from volatile and unpredictable global oil prices, directly influenced by geopolitical instability and conflict.

Fleets are some of the largest single fuel consumers in a given city and represent an opportunity to jump-start a community’s effort to reduce its dependence on oil, promote fuel diversity, and set an example for other cities across the country to follow. The ESCC is a project of its member cities in collaboration with Securing America’s Future Energy and the Electrification Coalition.

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