On October 27, the council of the town of Chapel Hill passed this resolution, recognizing the challenge of peak oil. The council recognized an obligation to inform the citizens of the potential risks, and directed that the issue be integrated into the Sustainability Committee's Sustainability Work Plan.
A RESOLUTION ACKNOWLEDGING THE CHALLENGE OF PEAK OIL AND THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE TOWN OF CHAPEL HILL TO PREPARE FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF A POST PEAK OIL ECONOMY (2008-10-27/R-3)
WHEREAS, peak oil is generally defined as the point in time when half of the world’s oil reserves have been used, resulting in increased scarcity of this commodity and corresponding price hikes; and
WHEREAS, oil is an essential resource for transportation, food production, and other aspects of the current U.S. economy; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Energy-sponsored study on the mitigation of Peak Oil performed by the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) demonstrated that a twenty-year lead time is required for effective mitigation, while current measures supported by the federal government will replace only three-weeks worth of gasoline consumption by 2012; and
WHEREAS, sources of transport fuels from coal require high energy input and increase total carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions; and
WHEREAS, energy conservation measures and investments in renewable energy sources can serve as strategies for reducing demand and dependence on oil-based fuels; and
WHEREAS, the state of North Carolina currently imports nearly all of its transportation fuel resources, which represents funds that could in part be used to develop domestic, alternative energy resources; and
WHEREAS, Chapel Hill residents and businesses are negatively affected by rising oil and energy costs, which disproportionately affect low-income residents; and
WHEREAS, the Town of Chapel Hill has demonstrated leadership and an ongoing commitment to confront the challenges associated with the long-term protection and enhancement of our community’s environmental quality, economic vitality, and social equity, all of which are directly impacted by access to affordable energy.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Town of Chapel Hill that the Town accepts the obligation to inform its citizens of potential risks associated with Peak Oil, and to address the significant challenge of confronting Peak Oil locally; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Sustainability Committee will work with the Town Council, Town staff and other Town advisory boards to address the concerns of Peak Oil, both short-term and long-term, through the development of Peak Oil mitigation strategies as a component of the Committee’s Sustainability Work Plan; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Sustainability Committee will provide regular updates to the Council on its progress as it relates to the Sustainability Work Plan, of which Peak Oil mitigation strategies will be an important component; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Council will recognize and consider the challenges of a Peak Oil economy as it makes decisions on matters of budgeting, capital improvements, transportation, land use plans and other essential Town operations and services; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Council will take account of the Peak Oil problem in implementing commitments made to the Carbon Reduction program, North Carolina League of Municipalities Green Challenge, Cities for Climate Protection Agreement and Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement, so that Chapel Hill can substantially reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.
This the 27th day of October, 2008.