Environment & Energy


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Jessica Routzahn
Program Assistant

Gary Moore, Past President, NARC; Judge, Boone County, KY

"Energy usage, resiliency, development and sustainability are key components of regional economic competitiveness. A strong regional energy portfolio can propel regional economic productivity while a thoughtful approach to energy investment, combined with a strong workforce training program, can help create new sectors within a regional economy. Elected Officials and Regional Councils also consider potential environmental impacts, mitigation strategies, and security measures when developing energy plans. NARC continues to work on these and other components of energy development and planning in regions with our member Councils, federal agencies, foundations, and partners to boost our collective regional capacity. Below is a brief synopsis of NARC’s energy resources and how you can tap into these opportunities. I encourage NARC members to engage in NARC’s energy efforts to promote regional solutions and successes."

Regions and the Environment

Water and wastewater; green infrastructure; energy independence and security; and greenhouse gas and air quality – when we focus on improving these aspects of our regional communities, the benefits span beyond protecting the environment. We improve public health by providing cleaner air and water for our residents. We diversify our regional diversity portfolio, insulating our communities from energy disruptions that could be caused by natural disasters. We also support a growing renewable energy economy, providing more job opportunities to our residents while reducing their monthly electric bills.

Regional planning organizations are perfectly situated to have the greatest impact on managing these cross-cutting issues, where local jurisdictions’ boundaries intersect and many federal, state, and local programs are conducted. They bring together local elected officials and planners of multiple jurisdictions to successfully plan for the complex challenges of climate change. They are taking green infrastructure projects head on, conducting strategic planning and implementing projects to accomplish sustainable outcomes. Regional councils are also directing initiatives in their programming that support clean energy, including providing outreach and technical assistance to expand local adoption of solar energy and conducting their own regional procurements for alternative fuel vehicles.

Policy Positions and Priorities

NARC’s Energy and Environment Policies and Priorities cover the wide range of environmental issues regional councils are faced with. You can find NARC’s full energy and environment priorities document here. From protection of the natural environment to the development and management of natural resources, NARC urges the federal government to support regional energy and environmental efforts within the following issue areas:

  • Wastewater
  • Drinking Water
  • Air Quality
  • Resilience
  • Solid Waste Management
  • Brownfields
  • Parks and Natural Gas
  • Climate Change
  • Energy