Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Safety Harbor Becomes Florida's Ninth City to Commit to a 100 Percent Clean Energy for All Future

With Commission vote, city joins Sunshine State movement to go all-renewable 
Over 80 supporters wore this
sticker to make their point known
to the Safety Harbor Commission.
They definitely saw us all!

Safety Harbor, FL – On Monday night, June 17, the City Commission of Safety Harbor voted unanimously to become Florida’s ninth city to adopt a resolution setting a 100 percent clean, renewable energy community-wide goal, committing the City to plan for the complete elimination of all fossil fuels in the electricity sector by 2035 for municipal operations and 2050 community-wide. The resolution creates an inclusive community planning process to guide a transition for both municipal operations as well as the entire community.

So many people, the fire marshall feared he'd have to turn
people away. So many, we couldn't get everyone in the shot! 

Safety Harbor joins the Pinellas County cities of Dunedin, Largo, and St. Petersburg in moving to clean, renewable energy, along with Sarasota, Orlando, Tallahassee, Gainesville, and most recently, South Miami. Across the US, 126 other cities have also made such commitments, from small towns like Safety Harbor to some of America’s major cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, and Atlanta. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, plus  Washington, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Hawaii have also set 100 percent clean energy targets.

Pinellas Suncoast Group lead volunteer for Ready for 100,
Bryan Beckman, addresses the City Commission.

These commitments lay the foundation for an equitable and just transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy across the state and country. Across the US, 70 million people, or 1 in 5 residents, now live in a place committing to moving beyond fossil fuels to a healthier, more affordable, and more just system powered by 100 percent clean energy.

Earlier that same day, Bryan Beckman was a guest on the
WMNF 88.5 Sustainable Living Show with
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, chair of the House Select Committee on the
 Climate Crisis. You can listen to that great conversation here.
The show was co-hosted by a resident of Safety Harbor,
 and discussed climate action at the national and local level. 

In response to the Commission's vote, Suncoast Sierra Club Ready for 100
volunteer leader Bryan Beckman issued the following statement:

“Safety Harbor has shown great leadership to set 100 percent renewable energy goals.  Implementing energy efficiencies and renewables saves money, reduces pollution, and creates local jobs.  The community looks forward to working with city officials to build an implementation plan with a sense of urgency that is inclusive, transparent, and equitable.”
 Laura McCullough of Indivisible Safety Harbor issued the following:

“We seek a world based on love and caring, kindness and generosity, empathy and compassion, social, economic and environmental justice, peace and nonviolence, and protection of the life support system of our planet. We believe that the Earth is a living organism and that we are dependent upon its well-being for our well-being. We commit to being in right relationship with nature, and be stewards of the Earth to ensure its well-being and longevity.”

Safety Harbor City Commissioner Andy Zodrow also issued the following:

“I am proud that the City of Safety Harbor could be the 127th City in the nation and 9th in Florida to be approved for the Ready for 100 commitment to achieve 100% clean, renewable energy. I want to thank the city staff, the Commission and most importantly the residents who came out in support of the resolution and the goal of renewable energy in our community.”

This big story in a little town got coverage from the Florida PhoenixWTVT FOX13, and WFLA 970AM's AM Tampa Bay morning drive talk show. 970 AM is Tampa Bay's conservative news/talk station that airs shows like Rush Limbaugh. Organizer Phil Compton did a 5 minute interview with long time media personality Jack Harris, and even though Harris is a climate change denier, succeeded in gaining his agreement that Florida, the Sunshine State, should become the Solar State. If we can win over such voices who generally oppose our efforts, perhaps we really can attain Clean Energy for All.

Phil Compton, Senior Organizing Representative
Sierra Club's FL Healthy Air & Ready for 100 Campaigns:
Clean Energy & Clean Transportation for All 
1990 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(o) 727-824-8813, ext. 303      (c) 813-841-3601 
phil.compton@sierraclub.org   https://twitter.com/PhilCompton