Actually, my new city, Salt Lake City, feels a lot greener than my old city, Dallas (but it’s always my first home). The population in SLC is edgy, kind of like Portland and Austin, but there’s also a substantial conservative undercurrent. I’ve found that the conservatives (myself included) really care about the environment as much as the liberals, and that issues relating to the environment are fairly bipartisan. Here are a few tidbits about Utah and SLC that I know about right now:
- Utah Governor Huntsman joined the Governator and five other states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Huntsman signed the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative.
- Salt Lake City and Mayor Rocky Anderson approved a LEED ordinance to promote green construction for projects funded by city money.
- Many of the area’s leaders came together and agreed that building green is the direction Salt Lake City and Utah is going to take.
- A 38-acre Park City Community called Newpark received LEED-ND pre-certification.
- Speaking of Park City, the Sundance Channel and Robert Redford are really going in the green direction also.
- The Utah Department of Transportation, in conjunction with research performed at Utah State University, has devised a plan to grow biodiesel crops on the freeways.
- The City Council is working on a way to invest money into greening its zoo, arts, and parks projects.
- A major Salt Lake City law firm, Holland & Hart LLP, announced the opening of its new Climate Change Practice Group.
- The University of Utah Sustainability Practicum and several students came together to design eco-friendly features for a new building scheduled to open in 2009.
Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg in Salt Lake City. There’s a lot of good green things going on and I’m excited to be here.