Public Citizen applauds vote, encourages more action
DALLAS, TX. — Today, the Dallas City Council voted 13-2 to approve a city budget that contains nearly $4 million to help meet goals established in the city’s Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP). Public Citizen and other environmental advocates were instrumental in pushing for the plan, which was adopted in May 2020 and aligns the City of Dallas with goals set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement.
“The Dallas City Council’s decision to invest almost $4 million in air monitors, rooftop solar, bike lanes, urban agriculture and weatherization programs is great news for Dallas residents and our ailing climate,” said Adrian Shelley, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office. “But the city can –and should– do more.”
The initial draft city budget included almost $2.5 million for CECAP programs, including a one-time, $1.2 million appropriation from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act. Thanks to the leadership of Dallas City Council members Paula Blackmon and Paul Ridley (the chair and vice chair of the city council’s Environment & Sustainability Committee) that amount was increased by $1.4 million before Wednesday’s vote.
Unfortunately, the budget slashes $400,000 from the Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability budget, although city officials say it will be replaced with reimbursements from other departments and state agencies in the coming year.
The final budget approved Wednesday includes:
- $1 million for new air quality monitors
- $200,000 for an urban agriculture plan
- $1.5 million for rooftop solar for city facilities
- $400,000 for a new weatherization program
- $72,000 to plant new trees program
- $700,000 for new bike lanes
“More is needed for Dallas to meet the goals set forth in the CECAP. The city should follow the lead of other major cities and invest in additional clean electric vehicles,” Shelley added. “Every department within the City of Dallas should prioritize reducing harmful global warming emissions in purchasing decisions. This will be essential to achieve the CECAP’s goals of net zero emissions by 2050.”