State College Borough Council on Monday adopted a climate control resolution.
It states that borough council endorses a carbon fee and dividend to help mitigate the effects of global climate disruption.
“A steadily increasing fee on fossil fuels at the point of their entry into the economy would be straightforward and make effective use of free-market mechanisms to promote the transition to greater energy conservation and renewable sources of energy,” the resolution states.
The resolution is not only meant to endorse a carbon tax but also to urge the borough’s elected representatives in Congress to enact it into law.
“I think this is a tremendous effort,” said David Stone, of State College.
Councilman Jesse Barlow introduced the resolution on Feb. 6, but it was tabled until Monday.
It doesn’t take a trip to Greenland, with its melting glaciers, to see the effects of climate change, Barlow said. Climate change can be observed in Pennsylvania.
Councilwoman Theresa Lafer said she’s not completely convinced that a carbon fee and dividend will work, but she agrees with the goal.
“This is a step in the right direction,” Mayor Elizabeth Goreham said of the resolution passing.
Also at its meeting, council heard an update on State College’s sustainability efforts from Alan Sam, the borough’s environmental coordinator.
One recent sustainability project is the parking meters replacement. The meters are now solar powered, meaning that the borough won’t have to use 1,200 nine-volt batteries like it did last year, Sam said.
The borough is also working on stormwater improvements, he said.
“We’re working to remove the stormwater from our storm sewer pipes as much as possible and treat that water before it does get into those pipes. We have a very important stream downstream from us that’s impacted by urban runoff, so we want to do whatever we can to improve the water quality that goes there from ... State College,” Sam said.
Recently installed bicycle repair stations; purchasing renewable energy certificates; possible replacement of high-pressure sodium street lights with LED ones; and ways to reduce invasive vegetation in Walnut Springs/Thompson Woods are among other sustainability efforts Sam discussed.
He said the borough’s 2017 Sustainability Plan is being developed and should be available for review in the coming months.