KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After hours of public comment, the Kansas City’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Operations Committee voted in favor of Kansas City’s Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan.
The plan aims to achieve carbon neutrality for city operations by 2040, but some utility companies in the city are unsure about the plan.
Signs and cheers filled the chambers of city hall where the proposed amendment was discussed.
The plan is geared toward a carbon neutral city by 2040, but city operations would have to transition by 2030.
“So we need true solutions that are sustainable that put families first on energy and then also advancing,” Atenas Mena with Cleaner Now said.
Dozens of supporters filled the chairs at the chambers hoping the committee would pass the bill.
“This has bold, necessary targets to achieve rapid decarbonization throughout our community that puts our people first,” Billy Davies with Sierra Club Missouri Chapter.
But the Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan brought deep concerns to private utility companies like Spire and Evergy because if the city is successful in advocating for regulatory changes then they would have to make modifications in how they operate.
This plan now means solar panels and wind energy will be priority over fossil fuels and some utility companies fear the plan would turn focus from natural gas.
“We heard from a lot of folks,” Stephen Mills, Vice President of Spire Missouri West, said. “We do feel like there were some improvements made from the original draft, but we also feel it didn’t go far enough.”
During the committee meeting Wednesday, the amendment was modified.
The committee removed the verbiage of clean electricity to clean energy because it’s a more expansive term.
“I think most people will be pleased with the final product here so I’m excited for Kansas City,” Councilman Kevin O’Neil said.
The modified amendment will go to a full council vote on Thursday.
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