Author: Carolyn Berndt

Protecting Federalism: Still the Battle Cry of Cities

The year 1995 was a time of “reinventing government,” with both the Clinton Administration and the new Republican majority Congress pledging to streamline government, balance the federal budget, and shift policy responsibilities to states, local governments and the private sector. Fundamental questions about the roles and responsibilities of government took center stage in Washington. One

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Science Confirms (Again) What Cities Already Know: Climate Change is Happening Now

The continuing drought in the west and wildfires burning in the plains are real world examples—happening right now—of what scientists say is evidence of climate change. Remember the floods in Colorado last year and Hurricane Sandy the year before? Those too are indicative of the kinds of extreme weather events the U.S. will face in

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3 Ways Cities are Leading in Energy Innovation

This is the second blog in a series on why the key to protecting our environment lies in city innovation. It’s no accident that “energy” is one of the main components of city sustainability plans. If we drilled down, much of these efforts likely focus on buildings. With buildings representing 39 percent of the nation’s

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EPA Local Government Advisory Committee Key to Local-Federal Partnership

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) met in Washington, DC to discuss local perspectives on climate, water, resiliency and environmental justice with Administration officials from EPA headquarters, regional administrators and the White House. At a time when so many environmental issues are at the forefront for communities and

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Building More Resilient Communities

With nearly 1500 mayors, council members, city staff and others coming to DC next week for the Congressional City Conference, it’s a great opportunity to educate our members about federal issues affecting cities and launch lobbying efforts around our 2014 federal priorities. Among the priorities this year is supporting community resilience. By raising awareness on

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Renewed Push on Energy Efficiency Bill, But It’s Not Over Yet

There is little to get excited about in Congress these days, but the reintroduction of a bipartisan energy efficiency bill is welcome news. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) reintroduced their marquee energy efficiency bill, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, with the addition of ten bipartisan amendments and ten new sponsors

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Supreme Court Greenhouse Gas Case has Implications for Local Adaptation, Resilience Efforts

As the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments today on a case that could have implications for the Administration’s plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, cities continue to seek federal policies and programs that will support their local climate adaptation and resilience efforts. The question in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA is whether the

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Solar Energy Shines its Way into the Mainstream

News Flash! The more electricity generated from renewable sources, such as solar, the less need there is to “build big new power plants and transmission lines.” Yes, that’s exactly the point of why this country should invest in solar technologies, and why many consumers already have invested in solar panels for their homes and businesses.

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Government Shutdown Puts America’s Waterways in Jeopardy

It’s now day two of the federal government shutdown, and many city leaders and residents are still wondering what the impact will be on their communities. Certainly, the shuttering of national parks throughout the country as well as the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo here in Washington, DC (not to mention the Panda Cam!)

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