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US mayors find it's not easy to be green

Assessing progress is difficult for 728 cities in a Kyoto-like pact.

Source:  Copyright 2007, LA Times
Date:  November 4, 2007
Byline:  Margot Roosevelt
Original URL: Status ONLINE

America's mayors, responding to a growing sense of urgency over climate change, are rapidly stepping up programs to weatherize buildings, capture methane gas from landfills, switch municipal fleets to hybrids, promote mass transit and buy cleaner electricity.

But changing the carbon footprint of their cities is turning out to be harder than they thought.

To help fund the mayors' ambitious plans, Congress has included block grants in energy legislation now under consideration -- up to $2 billion a year in a House bill -- to jump-start "green jobs" initiatives, training low-income workers to retrofit buildings and install climate-friendly energy systems.

"Green energy is going to be the oil gusher of the 21st century," New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg testified at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Summit in Seattle on Friday. "This is going to be a huge industry."

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