Congratulations Californians. Your cities dominate a new list of the Top 12 greenest cities in the United States, published by Greentech Media.
OK, I get that San Jose and its neighbors are doing a lot that warrant their green credentials, but, actually, I'm more interested in the cities in other parts of the country. Where, frankly, it isn't quite as easy to be green.
Kudos to Greensburg, Kansas, which is requiring that all public buildings being rebuilt after a tornado destroyed the city, conform to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) Platinum certification.
Thumbs-up to Gainesville, Florida, which is innovating in the area of feed-in tariffs for solar energy. Huh, feed-in tariffs? Yes, I was stumped, too, by this reference. Basically, it means that the local power company HAS to buy a certain amount of alternative energy from local producers, even teeny tiny ones. This story from Washington Monthly provides a way better explanation of why this means something than I can make up without a briefing.
Props also go to Burlington, Vermont, where about one-third of the energy in the city now comes from renewable sources. Here's more info about its action plan. Austin, Texas, is also tracking with a 30 percent alternative energy consumption goal by 2020.
Aside from the companies on this list, what other U.S. cities do you think should get some attention? You can e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.