City council to discuss climate change

Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth. Katharine Lotze/Signal
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The Santa Clarita City Council will discuss at its regular meeting Tuesday whether to send a letter to Rep. Steve Knight and U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris asking them to sponsor or support legislation that acknowledges climate change “in a clear, transparent and effective way,” according to city documents.

The letter discussion comes nearly two weeks after it was first put on the agenda by Councilman Cameron Smyth.

“In an effort to measure the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated within the city and to develop strategies to reduce the emissions in the future, the City of Santa Clarita adopted a Climate Action Plan on August 28, 2012. The Climate Action Plan identifies mitigation measures that can be quantified and translated into significant reductions made in our community. However, as climate change is a global issue, we hope that you work with your colleagues in Congress in exploring policies that address the impacts, causes and challenges of climate change,” a sample letter posted online reads.

Knight noted in a statement Friday that he joined a bipartisan climate solutions caucus last summer.

“I appreciate the City of Santa Clarita reaching out to me on this very important issue. In last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, I was one of 46 Republicans to vote to protect a study by the Department of Defense to assess the national security implications of our changing climate. As a member of the bipartisan climate solutions caucus, I am committed to finding workable solutions to protect our environment, promote American energy independence, and allow our economy to thrive,” Knight said.

City documents said the Climate Action Plan included: investing in compressed natural gas for transit buses, pushing for LEED Silver certification on new city buildings and preserving open space.

“Additional actions taken by the City include growth and improvements made to the City’s trails and paseos, installation of LED public lights and traffic lights, issuance of renewable energy system permits, and reduction in water usage through programs like ‘smart’ irrigation technology, implemented by the City’s Landscape Maintenance District since 2007,” council documents said.

If the City Council does not send the letter, it could revise the letter, choose not to send it or refer the letter to the city’s legislative committee.

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