In the U.S. State of Wisconsin, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has focused on measures to address climate change in his 2017 budget proposal. As part of a range of measures, the County will accelerate conversion of snow plows and other fossil fuel burning vehicles to cleaner burning renewable compressed natural gas (CNG – RNG).
“Dane County has a consistent track record of pursuing cleaner, greener sources of energy, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, and reinventing county operations to make them run better not only for the public, but also the environment,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This is our boldest action yet to address climate change and lead the way for our community and the State of Wisconsin.”
Parisi announced the creation of the Office of Energy and Climate Change, a new division within the County Executive’s Office. This office will lead public and private efforts across the community to implement climate change strategies county government has embraced in recent years.
Dane County has embarked upon an aggressive conversion of its county fleet of cars and trucks, away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner burning vehicles that run on renewable compressed natural gas (CNG) that county government produces. Dane County was among the first places in the country to plow snow with CNG powered highway patrol trucks. With funding included in Parisi’s 2017 budget, Dane County will have 75 vehicles running on CNG by the end of next year, including nearly one-third of the county’s highway fleet. This carbon friendly biomethane (renewable natural gas) is produced naturally at the Dane County Landfill.
Additionally, by converting gas generated from waste at the landfill to clean fuel burning compressed natural gas the County can reduce carbon emissions by another 30,000 tons per year.
The measures are a response to observable climate change. 2014 was the hottest year on record until 2015; now in 2016 the hottest August on record continued a streak of 11 consecutive months that have set new monthly high-temperature records. Lakes in Dane County are freezing later and thawing earlier.
Local governments are in the best position to demonstrate leadership and vision on addressing climate change, Parisi concludes.
(Source: Government of Dane County)