Saturday, April 15, 2006

San Francisco Becomes First U.S. City to Pass Peak Oil Resolution

Exciting news!

San Francisco on Tuesday became the first major U.S. city to pass a resolution acknowledging the threats posed by peak oil, urging the city to develop a comprehensive plan to respond to the emerging global energy crunch.

...The measure comes on the heels of an increasingly effective grass roots campaign by groups such as San Francisco Oil Awareness, Post Carbon San Francisco, and SF Informatics, who have sponsored mailings and meetings targeting Bay Area elected officials for more than two years. San Francisco has been making strides in the area of energy independence, energy watchdogs have reported. The group says that San Francisco was voted third best city to withstand an oil crisis.
See the whole press release with links here.


Baby Peanut said...

Full text of resolution:

Peak Oil Plan of Response and Preparation

Resolution acknowledging the challenge of Peak Oil and the need for San Francisco to prepare a plan of response and preparation

WHEREAS, World oil production is nearing its point of maximum production ("Peak Oil") and will enter a prolonged period of irreversible decline leading to ever-increasing prices; and

WHEREAS, The United States has only 2 percent of the world's oil reserves, produces 8 percent of the world's oil and consumes 25 percent of the world's oil, of which nearly 60 percent is imported from foreign countries; and,

WHEREAS, The decline in global oil production threatens to increase resource competition, geopolitical instability, and lead to greater impoverishment; and,

WHEREAS, National oil companies own 72% of remaining oil reserves and 55% of remaining gas reserves[i], and resource nationalism is increasingly dominating decisions of oil and gas development and trade relationships; and,

WHEREAS, The availability of affordable petroleum is critical to the functioning of our transportation system, the production of our food and of petrochemical-based consumer goods, the paving of roads, the lubrication of all machinery, and myriad other parts of the economy; and,

WHEREAS, San Francisco is entirely dependent on external supplies of petroleum, including the crude oil processed in Bay Area refineries; and,

WHEREAS, Price signals of petroleum scarcity are likely to come too late to trigger effective mitigation efforts in the private sector, and governmental intervention at all levels of government will be required to avert social and economic chaos; and,

WHEREAS, The Department of Energy-sponsored study[ii] on mitigation of Peak Oil demonstrated that a twenty-year lead time is required for effective mitigation, while current measures supported by the federal government will replace only three-weeks worth of gasoline consumption by 2012[iii]; and,

WHEREAS, Alternative sources of transport fuels from coal and natural gas both require high energy input and increase total carbon emissions, and biomass-based fuels compete with soil fertility, impacting agricultural sustainability[iv]; and,

WHEREAS, Substitution of petroleum with other fossil fuels threatens even greater damage to water, air, soil, and species diversity through their extraction and combustion; and,

WHEREAS, North American production of natural gas has already peaked, and 46% of California's electrical supply is generated from natural gas; and,

WHEREAS, San Francisco has demonstrated leadership in confronting challenges of environmental quality and energy security, promoting environmental and economic equity, and has a rich diversity of citizens committed to maintaining San Francisco's long-term viability; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco acknowledges the unprecedented challenges of Peak Oil; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors supports the adoption of a global Oil Depletion Protocol to provide transparency in oil markets, control price swings, address issues of equity in access to remaining oil resources, and provide a framework of predictability within which municipal governments can adjust to increasing oil scarcity; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors supports the undertaking of a city-wide assessment study in order to inventory city activities and their corollary resource requirements, evaluating the impact in each area of a decline in petroleum availability and of higher prices, with the aim of developing a comprehensive city plan of action and response to Peak Oil; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors urges the Mayor to provide funding and direction to city departments for the development of a response plan.

[i] "The Role of the National Oil Companies in a Changing World: Economic and Energy Relations", OPEC, 2004 at

[ii] Robert L. Hirsch, R. Bezdek, R. Wendling, Peaking Of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management, February 2005, online at


[iv] L. Reijnders, "Conditions for the sustainability of biomass based fuel use", Energy Policy 34 (2006) 863-876

(text does not include this but an abstract is available at )

Liz Logan said...

Thank you baby peanut!