Governance

Post Carbon Institute helps communities respond to the challenges of peak oil by supporting citizens and citizen groups through the Relocalization Network and local elected officials and municipal staff through our Post Carbon Cities program.

For our full collection of governance resources, visit postcarboncities.net, featuring regularly-updated news and resources on peak oil, global warming and the challenges they pose to local governments. Our new guidebook for local governments, Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty, is also a good resource.

Peak Oil Resolutions

One of the key ways that citizen groups and local governments have started collaboratively responding to peak oil is through Peak Oil Resolution initiatives. In the United States, the first few cities that to act on peak oil passed resolutions alerting the community to coming challenges, and in some cases setting up task forces to assess local vulnerabilities. We've summarized the experiences of these cities below.

Please visit our local government support program, Post Carbon Cities, for a regularly-updated list of local government responses to peak oil from around the world.

Portland, Oregon

Portland Peak Oil (www.portlandpeakoil.org) worked with the Portland City Council to pass a Resolution to establish a Task Force on Peak Oil implications. On 10 May 2006 City Council passed the resolution establishing a task force to study peak oil and its related consequences, seek community and business input, and develop recommendations on mitigation strategies. The City Council accepted the Task Force's recommendations in a second resolution on 7 March 2007.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco Oil Awareness (www.sfbayoil.org) successfully lobbied the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to pass the first ever Peak Oil Resolution in the United States. The Board voted unanimously to pass the resolution on 11 April 2006.

Oakland, California

On 17 October 2006, the Oakland City Council unanimously passed legislation, sponsored by Councilmember Nancy Nadel, making Oakland the first city in the U.S. to aim for oil independence by 2020.

Reporting within six months of formation, an Oakland task force composed of local, regional, and national experts will develop a robust oil independence plan, consolidating measures from around the world that can be used locally to reduce oil consumption citywide. This action plan will recommend bold initiatives to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, establish Oakland as a national leader in the green economy and green jobs creation, and seek to secure Oakland's energy needs.

  • Resolution creating a Task Force "to develop an action plan for Oakland to become oil independent by 2020."
: http://postcarboncities.net/node/179.

Bloomington, Indiana

On 19 July 2006, Bloomington, Indiana passed a resolution acknowledging the challenge of peak oil, supporting adoption of a global depletion protocol, and urging federal and state action on peak oil and its consequences. The resolution was developed by Bloomingpeak, Bloomington’s Peak Oil Community Awareness Project

.
  • Full text of the Bloomington resolution
: [PDF]
  • The passing of the resolution was featured on EnergyBulletin: www.energybulletin.net/18476.html
  • Franklin, New York

    The Franklin Town Board passed Peak Oil Resolution on 6 December 2005 to establish a Citizens' Commission on local impacts of peak oil. The idea for the Commission grew out of the talk by Richard Heinberg called “Peak Oil: The Challenge and Opportunity of Petroleum’s Waning Days.” During his presentation, Professor Heinberg noted that his students at New College of California in Santa Rosa are working with the small California city of Sebastopol to develop a plan for reducing energy use and dependency. Heinberg noted that their work was based upon a similar project undertaken in Kinsale, Ireland. Since then, the Franklin citizens’ group have learned that a group of Tompkins County private citizens are working on what they call the Tompkins County Relocalization Project. These efforts by Tompkins County and Kinsale are likely to serve as a starting point and guide for the Franklin project, the goal of which is rebuilding the local economy and nurturing community solidarity.

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