On November 8, 2022, El Pasoans voted to pass all three propositions of the City’s “Community Progress Bond,” costing a total of $272,480,000.
Proposition C mandates “The issuance of $5,200,000 General Obligation Bonds for renewable energy and resource use efficiency improvements and planning and the imposition of a tax sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds.” This includes the creation of the Office of Climate & Sustainability, a new government agency.
The proposition barely passed, with 50.63% voting in favor. More than one year later, the City is now getting ready to start spending the bond money.
- Address the specific impacts of the global climate crisis as they relate to the urban desert environment and vulnerable populations of the Chihuahuan Desert.
- Ensure consistent and transparent collaboration inclusive of all interested stakeholders and community members assuring tangible results and appropriate public accountability.
- Pursue a wide range of policy vehicles and funding resources to advance the City of El Paso a leader in addressing the global climate crisis while balancing affordability and equity concerns for the community of El Paso. [sic]
So between this gobbledygook and the salaries of the new climate officers, $5.2 million of taxpayer money will vanish into the abyss.
CITY TO SPEND $1,239,235 ON A CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
If agenda item 18 passes, the City will commit to signing a four-year contract with AECOM Technical Services, Inc. of Chicago, paying them $1,239,235 to draft a Climate Action Plan.
We invite you to read the 51-page contract, especially the Scope of Services in Attachment A, which is incomprehensible.
One wonders what the final recommendations of the Climate Action Plan will be and what they will cost the taxpayers.
We already replaced all the Sun Metro buses with vehicles that run on compressed natural gas, which nevertheless produces carbon dioxide when combusted. Will the City replace these and the entire fleet of police cars with expensive electric vehicles? What might they think up?
More importantly, what effect would City action have on the world climate when China, India and most of the rest of the planet are doing little or nothing to curtail carbon dioxide emissions, as the earth’s population explodes past 8 billion people?
Of course, many of the supporters of Proposition C were also promoting Proposition K, the ill-fated climate ordinance that would have caused a financial calamity had it not been rejected by the voters.
EL PASO ELECTRIC IS ALREADY TAKING ACTION
Meanwhile, El Paso Electric, which is routinely demonized by local progressives, has done more to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the last year than our City could possible achieve over the next century, and they are a private corporation.
We learned last April that El Paso Electric acquired the largest solar plant in New Mexico, which produces enough electricity to power 60,000 homes, or about 19% of the homes in El Paso. The company already generates half its electricity from the Palo Verde Nuclear Plant in Arizona and by 2023 plans to be 80% carbon free.
Do you hear any applause from the progressives? Nope.
If City leaders want to help combat climate change, they should encourage more private-sector investment in clean energy rather than acceding to voter demands to create expensive government mandates and job-killing legislation.
PHOTO: El Paso Electric’s new Buena Vista Energy Center at Chaparral, New Mexico. Vic Kolenc, El Paso Times, 7 Apr 2023.