The Cleveland City Council passed this resolution in June 2008, recognizing the problem of peak oil and calling upon the mayoral administration to collaborate with them in convening a working group to investigate the risk and make recommendations.
[See this newspaper article for more information. -Ed.]
AN EMERGENCY RESOLUTION
Calling upon the Jackson Administration to work with this Council and convene a working group that will assess Cleveland’s exposure to diminishing supplies of oil and natural gas and make recommendations to address vulnerabilities.
By: Council Members Zone, Cummins and Brady
WHEREAS, global reserves of oil and natural gas are finite and sufficient substitutes are unlikely to be available in the immediate future; and
WHEREAS, U.S. oil and natural gas production have peaked and are now in decline, ensuring our nation’s continued and growing dependence on oil and natural gas imported from politically unstable regions; and
WHEREAS, a growing body of energy industry experts believe that the world has already arrived at, or will soon arrive at, the peak of global oil production, which will be followed by an inevitable decline in available supply thereafter; and
WHEREAS, global demand for oil and natural gas continue to increase; and
WHEREAS, following the global peaks of oil and natural gas production, the interaction of decreasing supply and increased demand will cause the price of oil and natural gas to become more volatile; and
WHEREAS, the United States Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory has stated that, “The problems associated with world oil production peaking will not be temporary, and past ‘energy crisis’ experience will provide relatively little guidance. The challenge of oil peaking deserves immediate, serious attention, if risks are to be fully understood and mitigation begun on a timely basis”; and
WHEREAS, the City of Cleveland and its citizens and businesses depend on oil and natural gas for their economic welfare and their most critical activities, including transportation and food supply; and
WHEREAS, a large majority of money spent on fossil fuels leaves Ohio and provides no local economic benefit, while many of the solutions to lessening dependence on fossil fuels may result in local jobs and substantial economic benefits; and
WHEREAS, Cleveland residents and businesses are not currently aware of the full implications of an impending decline and will greatly benefit from an objective source of information on this topic; and
WHEREAS, the City of Cleveland should work to adopt a Local Action Plan On Global Warming, the success of which depends upon reducing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels; and
WHEREAS, the Cities of Portland, Oregon; San Francisco and Oakland, California; Austin, Texas; among other cities have convened task forces to examine the effect on cities of diminishing supplies of oil and natural gas; and
WHEREAS, the City of Cleveland’s working group should include members from the City’s the Office of Sustainability, Departments of Public Utilities, Finance, Public Service, City Planning and Health and should seek technical assistance from the Ohio Departments of Energy and Transportation and any other applicable local, state and federal entities; further, it should include members representing a broad range of community and business interests; and
WHEREAS, among other things this working group should convene:
1.To acquire and study current and credible data and information on the issues of peak oil and natural gas production and the related economic and other societal consequences;
2.To seek community and business input on the impacts and proposed solutions;
3.To develop recommendations to City Council in this calendar year on strategies the City and its Departments can take to mitigate the impacts of declining energy supplies in areas including, but not limited to: transportation, business and home energy use, water, food security, health care, communications, land use planning, and wastewater treatment; and
4.To propose methods of educating the public about this issue in order to create positive behavior change among businesses and residents that reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
WHEREAS, this resolution constitutes an emergency measure providing for the usual daily operation of a municipal department, now, therefore,
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CLEVELAND
Section 1. That this Council calls upon the Jackson Administration to work with this Council and convene a working group that will assess Cleveland’s exposure to diminishing supplies of oil and natural gas and make recommendations to address vulnerabilities.
Section 2. That this resolution is hereby declared to be an emergency measure and, provided it receives the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to Council, it shall take effect and be in force immediately upon its adoption and approval by the Mayor; otherwise, it shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by law.