Arizona Town Changes Climate Plan After Finding ‘Green New Deal’ Items Included
An Arizona town is moving forward with an amended environmental plan its conservative officials originally said resembled California’s green initiatives.
The Fountain Hills, Arizona, town council narrowly passed an altered version of its environmental plan after some conservative council members expressed concern that it echoed progressive climate goals.
The plan passed in a 4-3 vote, with the four conservative-leaning council members voting in favor due to the changes made. The amendments included removing a section that said it would focus on “alternative transportation modes” to lower carbon emissions and a section that said it would encourage less “automobile dependence,” among other items.
One item originally pushed to “continue to require the utilization of native, drought-tolerant landscapes that eliminate the use of gasoline-powered landscape equipment.” It was then changed to saying they would “work towards” eliminating it instead.
“We’re not California, and I don’t want to slowly slide into California either. We are America, this is Arizona. I like it as amended, and I would argue for that and that’s why I made the motion to do it as amended,” Councilman Allen Skillicorn said at the Feb. 21 meeting. “And I don’t want to go back to California language, period.”
Skillicorn worried that the original version could have led to the banning of leaf blowers, for example.
However, Mayor Ginny Dickey, who voted against the amended plan, told The Center Square that she believes it became politicized.
“The majority saw fit to change wording that had been approved by voters in 2020. They altered the Environmental Plan as created and recommended to Council by a citizen’s Strategic Plan Advisory Commission 6-1,” Dickey said in an email statement.
“While accusing the proposal… again, created from the General Plan approved by largely conservative voters… of being ‘politically charged,’ they used phrases such as ‘Green New Deal,’ ‘becoming California,’ and ‘virtue signaling’ which have far more divisive connotations than any words cited in the Plan,” she added.
This article was published by The Center Square – Arizona and is reproduced with permission.
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