Will the next mayor of Knoxville be a climate leader?

Clean energy voters in Knoxville want to hear from mayoral candidates that addressing the climate crisis is a priority.

Maggie Shober | September 25, 2019 | Climate Change, Elections, Energy Policy, Tennessee

Knoxville recently set climate goals to reduce city government emissions by 50% by 2030 and community emissions by 80% by 2050. The next mayor will set into motions the programs and policies to put Knoxville on track to meet, exceed, or fall short of these goals. In November Knoxvillians will vote to decide who the next mayor will be. The stakes are high, and Knoxville’s clean energy voters want to know where the candidates stand on this issue.

Opportunity for Knoxville Candidates to Step Up!

SACE would like to see Knoxville lead on addressing climate and clean energy in its road to achieving the climate goals. To show they are serious about climate, clean energy voters are looking for candidates to:

  • Formally state that greenhouse gas reductions are a priority, particularly keeping open the opportunity to exceed the current climate goals.
  • Establish a citizen task force to start working on this issue immediately so that we aren’t starting from scratch after the election.
  • Work with this task force detailing a statement on climate and clean energy for public consumption (on candidate website).
  • Talk about the seriousness of the climate crisis whenever possible.

The community goal is targeted three decades later than the government goal. To create and sustain the necessary momentum to reduce by 80% in the community by 2050, community emissions should be reduced by at least as much as governmental emissions by 2030. The next mayor should set a trajectory that targets significant community emission reductions early.

So how to do this? Through community-formulation of a bold, science-based Climate Action Plan.

Keep the Pressure on TVA & KUB

As a public power utilities, KUB and TVA don’t answer to shareholders; instead they should answer to us as customers and the residents of the Tennessee Valley. But instead, we routinely witness TVA and KUB making poor decisions that are not in the customers’ best interest. Both can and should be doing more to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, TVA consistently puts out misinformation on its plans for solar, limits how many customers can install solar, and defunds energy efficiency programs that help reduce emissions and lower energy bills. KUB could be a stronger advocate for renewable energy, reverse the exorbitant and regressive fixed fee increases of the past decade, and have its own strategy for addressing energy burdens, particularly for its low-income customers. TVA and KUB could also more aggressively pursue electrification of transportation across the Valley.

Join us as we track the upcoming Knoxville elections, work to ensure Knoxville’s elected officials stay on track to meet the city’s carbon reductions goals, and keep the pressure on TVA to work toward a more stable climate and a more equitable, cleaner, and healthier community.

Make your voice heard, Knoxville

The next mayor will be decided this November, so be sure you, your friends, family, and neighbors are registered and make a plan to vote.

See you at the polls!

Maggie Shober
Maggie Shober works to speed the clean energy transformation in the Southeast through analysis and advocacy. She has expertise in renewable energy, energy efficiency, coal retirements, energy market modeling, and…
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