On Tuesday night, the Buncombe County Commission adopted a resolution calling for an 80% carbon reduction goal with at least 2% per year reduction. They also approved investing the first $800,000 in energy efficiency initiatives over the next few years (which will save the county over $175,000 per year in energy costs). The vote was 5-2 in favor, including moderate Republican commissioner David King. Ken Brame, the Sierra Club political chair, was a huge driver behind this initiative and organized support from local group members.
About 50 supporters turn out for the commission meeting, which in the words of Ken Brame, “is massive.” Supporters spoke from several environmental organizations, clean energy and energy efficiency businesses. Three of the five commissioners who voted in favor, including David King, attended the local WENOCA group holiday party and awards ceremony last night to thank the group for their contribution. Brownie Newman, the sponsor of the initiative, gave credit to the Sierra Club for the huge volume of emails and calls the commission received. He went as far as to say that without the Sierra Club’s advocacy, the resolution may not have passed, and certainly would not have passed with the same vote count. This is a great step forward for the county and our region.