Albuquerque Gets Green
Albuquerque, New Mexico, long pro-growth, pro-automobile, and enamored of road-building over environmentalists' objections in sensitive areas, is suddenly emerging as one of the country's greener cities. Last year it embraced the Kyoto targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and filed a Supreme Court brief supporting a global-warming lawsuit against the Bush administration. Mayor Martin Chavez has committed to purchasing only alternative-energy vehicles for the city fleet, City Council members are pushing to improve the municipal bus system, and the Council has set aside 3 percent of its capital budget for energy-efficient projects.
Sierra Club Cool Cities Coordinator Eva Thaddeus says Albuquerque is taking steps to become a "Cool City" by calling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels. "What it really means to be a green city in the long run is a city that's moving toward a sustainable way of life," she told the Albuquerque Journal recently. "Southwestern cities are not generally thought of as green communities, [and] Albuquerque in particular needs to cut the amount of miles people drive. Every city in our country has a long way to go at this point. But we're on the path."