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Letter to City Officials on Community Involvement in Energy Conservation

August 17, 1979

As you know, local leaders around the country are already working hard to make their communities more energy efficient, and the people who live there more energy conscious. I am writing to pledge the full assistance of the Federal Government in your efforts and to request your most vigorous leadership in developing your own community-wide conservation plans.

Many communities such as Portland, Oregon; Clinton County, Michigan; Davis, California; and Greensboro, North Carolina, have successfully created participating public efforts that bring together business, civic, religious and community groups to formulate energy savings.

The potential contribution from a concentrated effort by communities across the country to our nation's battle in energy security is enormous. In fact, if extensive conservation measures are implemented in residential, public and commercial buildings alone we might reduce oil imports by well over a million barrels a day. Several hundred thousand more barrels of oil a day could be saved if we expanded use of ridesharing and took simple steps to improve automobile efficiency. These measures will also reduce the cost of living for all Americans who participate by lowering utility bills and cutting the cost of transportation.

If our national efforts to conserve are to be successful, your community's imagination and creativity must be encouraged.

Along these lines, in my July 16 speech before the National Association of Counties in Kansas City, I urged those Federal officials who had not done so to work with other leaders in their community-from both inside and outside of government-to set ambitious local conservation goals and to develop action plans to meet these goals.

I have enclosed some brief descriptions from the growing number of existing local efforts. To assist you in sharing this information and in learning more about the programs of other communities I have established a special clearinghouse to serve leaders who are undertaking energy conservation initiatives. A toll-free hotline will be opened in early September. Correspondence can be addressed now to the President's Clearinghouse for Community Energy Efficiency, Suite 185, 400 North Capitol Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.

It is through the application of your citizens' initiatives and inspiration that America can win the energy war. Our nation is counting on your help and your leadership. Thank you for your efforts. I look forward to hearing of your success.


Note: This is the text of identical letters sent to more than 6,000 mayors and elected city officials throughout the Nation.

The White House Press Office also made available the enclosure detailing the local energy conservation efforts.

Jimmy Carter, Letter to City Officials on Community Involvement in Energy Conservation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250390

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