Lander City Council to consider greenhouse gas reduction resolution during regular meeting Dec. 12

    The Lander City Council plans to consider a greenhouse gas reduction resolution at its next regular meeting in December.

    They discussed the proposed resolution during a work session this week.

    2030 goals

    Councilmember Julia Stuble said city staff drafted the proposal with the local Energy and Environment Task Force, which recommended a municipal greenhouse gas reduction target during a council meeting last month.


    That initial task force recommendation called for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – but the resolution the council discussed this week featured a different goal: a 20 percent emissions reduction by 2030 and a 50 percent emissions reduction by 2040, based on 2021 totals.

    Councilmember John Larsen suggested removing the 2040 target from the list this week.

    “We should really concentrate on the 2030 stuff,” he said. “(Let’s) see what can be done there … rather than try to reach out to 2040.”

    Councilmember Julia Stuble said she would “go the opposite direction” and add a goal to the resolution to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050 – what she called an “industry standard.”


    The 2050 target would make Lander “more competitive” for federal grants, which often feature 2050 emissions reductions goals, Stuble said.

    By contrast, she added, “if we end it at 2030, we would reduce that competitiveness.”

    Public works director Lance Hopkin said the 2050 goal was removed from the resolution at his suggestion because future councils might want to set their own emissions targets.


    “By 2050 a lot could happen,” he said. “(But) 2030 and 2040 were both reasonable.”

    Potential projects

    The 2030 Municipal Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions Plan that was included in the council’s work session packet this week lists about a dozen projects Lander could undertake in the coming years to increase municipal energy efficiency.

    h/t City of Lander

    “It’s all straightforward stuff,” Larsen said after reviewing the list. “They’re all just very basic … cost-saving measures.


    “There’s nothing there that’s getting (into) different philosophies and so forth.”

    He was responding to earlier comments from Councilmember Dan Hahn, who had talked about the carbon footprint associated with renewable energy products like electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels.

    “You have to look at the whole picture,” Hahn said. “I’ve been very interested in renewable energy for a long time, but there’s a dark side, and there’s a carbon footprint up front.”

    Larsen agreed that “a lot of this stuff (is) marginal … as far as the carbon footprint goes” – but he also echoed Stuble’s comments about federal funding opportunities.

    “In order to be competitive on any of these grants, we have to (show) that we’re making a real effort to do something with the greenhouse gases,” Larsen said. “(And) the projects that are proposed are not something just to spend money on – it’s like these air conditioners on top of this building here. … They’re going to have to be replaced, so why not replace them with something that’s more energy efficient?”

    “I don’t think we’re just squandering money.”

    Councilmember Josh Hahn had expressed reservations about pursuing large projects while local residents are struggling economically – especially if the energy efficiency upgrades aren’t “as healthy as what everybody’s making them out to be” and “we’re not fixing the problem by creating more of this stuff.”

    He agreed, however, that the city wouldn’t be “squandering money” by pursuing the proposed projects.

    “I’m totally in agreeance on everything that’s been said,” Hahn said. “It’s just hard to look at something like this (when) everybody’s having a hard time with money.”

    Dan Hahn said he doesn’t “have a problem with a lot of” the projects on the list, either – it just “bothers” him that the debate about greenhouse gas emissions is “one-sided.”

    He also wants to avoid future regulations banning things like idling vehicles and burning wood in Lander.

    “Those are the things that scare me,” Hahn said. “There are people in town that are thinking (if) this goes through, the next thing is going to be burning firewood. …

    “How far does it go?”

    It’s up to the council to answer that question, Stuble replied.

    “Where does it end? It ends with us,” she said. “The check on the system is this council.”

    The proposed resolution doesn’t obligate the city to pursue any of the projects listed in the emissions reduction plan, Stuble pointed out, and it doesn’t regulate “individuals in our city and their own choices.”

    “This is solely about city operations,” she said. “We’re saying we’re going to try our best (to) reach the goal.”

    For more information call the City of Lander at 332-2870.


    Related Posts

    Have a news tip or an awesome photo to share?