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Clean Energy by 2045? The City of Pocatello's Resolution

Jeff Mansfield, Idaho State Journal

This week on Sustainable Idaho, Scott and Rachel investigate the City of Pocatello’s 2045 Clean Energy Resolution. Speaking to Jeff Mansfield, the Public Works Director for the City of Pocatello, this episode finds out how the City plans to transition to a clean and renewable energy future.

This week, Sustainable Idaho is exploring the City of Pocatello’s 2045 clean energy resolution.

Back in 2019 the City of Pocatello, under the leadership of Major Brian Blad, signed a resolution to implement a fully clean energy system by, or before, the year 2045.

The City of Pocatello’s resolution describes a clean energy system as one that considers all sources of energy use, including electricity generation, buildings, transportation, waste management, and agriculture.

However, the resolution mirrors Idaho’s Powers similar commitment to clean energy by 2045. So to find out if the City of Pocatello’s 2045 clean energy resolution is distinction from Idaho Power’s similar commitment, Sustainable Idaho speaks to Jeff Mansfield, the Public Works Director for the City of Pocatello.

Mr. Jeff Mansfield oversees the departments of water, wastewater, sanitations, streets, fleet, science and environment and engineering. Jeff explained that in the City of Pocatello’s 2019 resolution is distinct from that of Idaho Power, but does have some connections. Jeff continued by stating that the City of Pocatello does purchase it’s electricity from Idaho Power, and is therefore helped by their similar commitment to 100% clean energy by 2045. However, for the City of Pocatello, this isn’t just about electricity, it’s about all the elements and components that make up their energy system. This includes their fleet of City vehicles, the running of City buildings, and the management of City Street and traffic lights.

After the publication of the clean energy resolution in 2019, the City of Pocatello made a sluggish start with regards to enacting its recommendations. However, spearheaded by Jeff Mansfield, the City is now making some promising progress. One of the key recommendations of the resolution was the creation of the ‘clean energy task force’. This task force was created in early 2021 and is tasked with overseeing and enacting policies and practices that would support renewable energy, maximize energy conservation, and endeavors to support a transition to a clean energy system.

Spearheading the creation of the task force, and championing the ideals of the resolution, Jeff Mansfield is now a key member of the task force. Jeff told Sustainable Idaho that now the task force is created, the next step is to hire an energy services company to conduct an energy audit. This audit will evaluate the City’s energy uses and practices and make recommendations that support economic and environmental improvements. It will then be the role of the newly appointed City of Pocatello clean energy task force, to assess the result of this energy audit. In practice, the task force will choose which recommendations to enact. 

Aside from the recent clean energy resolution, the City of Pocatello has long considered sustainability to be important. Jeff explained that the City has long worked with Idaho Power to make sustainable decisions and has receive a sizable amount of grant funding to support various sustainable projects. Pocatello mayor, Brian Blad, has also supported sustainability. For the last nine years, Mayor Blad has maintained the tradition of an Earth Day proclamation. Typically, speaking at the Portneuf Valley Community Environmental Fair, Mayor Blad has encouraged us all to consider our carbon footprint, engage in projects that enhance our community’s natural environment, and help build a sustainable community.

Thanks to Jeff Mansfield from the City of Pocatello. Join us for Sustainable Idaho next week, where we speak to the former Mayor of Moscow and two Pocatello City Council members, to continue our investigation of the City of Pocatello’s 2045 clean energy pledge.