This limited-term task force, Energy Resource Scarcity/Peak Oil (Energy Task Force) examined the energy vulnerabilities of local economic, social and environmental infrastructures and recommended appropriate changes to ensure that those infrastructures are resilient in the face of shifting energy markets.
Charge to the Task Force
The Energy Task Force, a limited-duration, self-managed work group, expected to complete the following work:
- Used current, credible data and information to examine the issues of peak oil and natural gas production and the related economic and societal consequences;
- Sought community and business input on the impacts of changes to energy resource availability, rising energy prices and proposed adaptations;
- Developed recommendations to the City and County Councils on strategies these governments can take to mitigate the impacts of declining energy supplies in areas, including, but not limited to: transportation, business and home energy use, agriculture and food security, health care and social services, land use planning, water and wastewater treatment, and local energy development. These recommendations and proposed outcomes included suggestions as to appropriate implementing bodies (governmental and non-governmental), market-based and regulatory programs/incentives, as well as possible funding sources.
- Proposed methods of educating residents and businesses about this issue in order to optimize the use of and therefore reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, electricity and other energy sources subject to resource scarcity.
- Delivered the report of recommendations to the Mayor, Executive and the City and County Councils.
The Energy Task Force included 18 members selected jointly by the Mayor of Bellingham and the Whatcom County Executive, representing a broad range of government, community and business interests. Members had a general knowledge of energy scarcity issues as well as a more specific understanding of issues in at least one of the following areas: land use and transportation, food and agriculture, public and social services (including public education, health, social services, utilities and public safety), economic transition (including retail, manufacturing, service, tourism), energy and water, and community education and preparation.