City council forms task force to make greener Stillwater

City Council (copy)

The City of Stillwater will form a task force to work toward a greener city, a 5-0 vote determined at the city council meeting on Monday.

Ready for 100, a national campaign that strives to make clean and renewable energy commonplace in cities, is taking action in Stillwater as it is in the next step of its process. The passing of resolution CC-2020-8 allows the City of Stillwater to create a task force, which all citizens are welcome to take part in.

Nationwide, 150 cities have already taken a part in Ready for 100 and made steps toward cleaner and renewable energy. Unlike some of the cities, Stillwater hasn’t made a full commitment to have 100 percent clean and renewable energy, but the people behind it are striving for that to be a goal for Stillwater by the year 2050.

Three people came to speak in favor of the resolution at the meeting. Henri Uehara said he would like to see the city of Stillwater be one of the most environmentally friendly cities in Oklahoma.

“The wind farms out in the Western part of Oklahoma powers a lot of what we use actually,” Uehara said. “We are half-way there almost. We want to get the other half to be carbon-free OSU. I am really pushing that with the city and seeing if we can do something to get that done.”

City officials also think the opportunities that the resolution is presenting are promising for Stillwater’s future. City Manager Norman McNickle sees potential.

“I think, certainly, that as the cost of renewables comes down and getting renewables into the grid, that’s obviously good for our environment and good for the future of our country, getting the hydrocarbons out of the air,” McNickle said.

The City Council did not commit the City of Stillwater to do anything other than the next step of making a task force. Mayor Will Joyce thinks this step does clarify that the city views this as an important issue.

“This is really just a kicking off the formal study portion,” Joyce said.

There are still a lot of things to take into account when it comes to the fate of the environment in the city, Vice Mayor Pat Darlington said. There is more to this resolution than just energy source.

“To be able to weigh all those things, as we’re talking about, even the right studies tonight for electric water and wastewater,” Darlington said. “You know you’d love to have all the money in the world, and we don’t. In fact, we have less and less. We do have to use it wisely.”