The Greeenest Cities in America
"In the international alliance to fight climate change, the United States is considered the sullen loner. But in the seven years since we rejected Kyoto, changes have begun. Not at the federal level, however. It's the locals who are making it happen."
"In everything from emissions control to environmental stewardship, cities across the country are far ahead of the federal government, and they're achieving their successes with ready-made technology. Austin has pledged to meet 30 percent of its energy needs with renewable sources by 2020, aided by planned wind-power installations that will surpass their predecessors in efficiency. Seattle has retrofitted its municipal heavy-duty diesel vehicles with devices that will reduce particulate pollution by 50 percent. Boulder has enacted the country's first electricity tax to pay for greenhouse-gas emission reductions. Something about the comparative speed of city government-a city-council member can greenlight a project and be cutting the ribbon a year later-leads to bold action, and as cities trade ideas, a very positive sort of mimicry is spreading."
The top 5:
1. Portland, Ore.
2. San Francisco, Calif.
3. Boston, Mass.
4. Oakland, Calif.
5. Eugene, Ore.