What is clean energy?

Clean energy is energy drawn from sources that do not pollute the air with green house gases, such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. Clean energy is drawn from sources like wind, solar, nuclear, and hydro power. Clean energy contrasts with fossil fuel energy, which is the major source of green house gas pollution. Fossil fuels include oil, coal, and natural gas.

Is there a link between local food production and clean energy?

Yes! Right now, it’s estimated that less than 5% of the food consumed in Spokane is grown in our region. Most food is trucked in from far away and a lot is shipped across oceans which is very polluting and energy-inefficient. Farmers markets are a great way for residents to access nutritious, farm-fresh local produce while providing reliable marketing outlets for regional farmers. We can also encourage our local government agencies, institutions and businesses to procure more of the food they purchase from regional suppliers.

Victory Gardens in the two world wars produced a significant amount of healthy food, allowing agricultural produce to be used for the US military and its Allies. Victory Gardens reduced the need for tin can and truck transport. Citizens back then were more concerned with feeding our soldiers than protecting the environment. But gardens like those make sense today at we move towards a clean, new world.

How much of the world’s energy supply comes from clean energy sources and fossil fuels?

The table below lists the world’s energy source production (source: International Energy Association, 2019).

Oil: 32%

• Coal: 27%

• Gas: 23%

• Nuclear: 5%

• Hydro: 3%

• Wind/Solar: 2%

• Other: 8%

Which energy sources produce the most carbon dioxide in the US?

The US Energy Information Administration estimates energy source contribution as follows (2020):

Oil: 45%

• Gas: 40%

• Coal: 20%

What is Washington state doing to increase the use of clean energy?

State law requires Washington to achieve zero emissions by 2050. In May, 2021, the state legislature passed the Climate Commitment Act. The Act established a comprehensive program to achieve the required zero level emissions by 2050. According to the state’s Department of Ecology, “The Climate Commitment Act caps and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s largest emitting sources and industries, allowing businesses to find the most efficient path to lower carbon emissions. This puts Washington on a path to meet the greenhouse gas emission limits set in state law.” (For more details go to, https://ecology.wa.gov/Air-Climate/Climate-change/Reducing-greenhouse-gases/Climate-Commitment-Act).