Redefining Prosperity: Energy Descent and Community Resilience



Report of the Bloomington, Indiana Peak Oil Task Force
Via Energy Bulletin

[Where's OUR Task Force?! -DS]

On December 5, 2007, the Bloomington Common Council passed Resolution 07-16: Establishing a Bloomington Peak Oil Task Force (PDF 12.21 KB). Sponsored by Councilmember Dave Rollo, the purpose of the Task Force is to assess Bloomington’s vulnerability to changing energy markets and to develop researched and prudent strategies to protect our community.

The City of Bloomington first formally recognized that the City must begin preparing for peak oil in July 2006, with the adoption of Resolution 06-07: Recognizing the Peak of World Petroleum Production (PDF 10.19 KB). With the support of the Mayor, the Environmental Commission and the Commission on Sustainability, the Task Force shifts this recognition to action.

It is widely acknowledged that the global supply of petroleum is finite and that production will peak at the mid-point of extraction and decline thereafter. With most forecasts locating peak production within the next 14 years and a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy advising that communities implement mitigation strategies at least 15-20 years in advance of peak oil to offset and largely avoid the implications of a liquid fuels shortage, Rollo states that now is the time to start planning for a community shift away from reliance on petroleum and other fossil fuels.

According to Rollo: “Peak global petroleum production is on the horizon, and society has no ready substitutes for this energy source. This means that we are nearing the point of crossover – that point where the supply of energy fails to meet demand. We are tremendously vulnerable to energy supply disruption and price volatility if peak comes soon.”

In establishing this Task Force, Bloomington joins scores of other cites who have begun to address the challenges of peak oil, such as: Portland, Oregon; Willits, California; Tompkins County, New York; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California and Austin, Texas to name a few.

Rollo further explains that “Embarking on a plan for peak oil mitigation, the City is exercising one of its principal roles as a Sustainable City: to foster and unify the three indicia of community well-being — economic vitality, environmental health and social equity. Preparing for the peak not only promises to save citizens money, but gives us the collective opportunity to make a great community even stronger.”

The specific charge of the Task Force is to acquire and study current and credible data; seek community feedback; coordinate efforts with other governmental agencies; work to educate the community; and, to develop a Bloomington Peak Oil Task Force Report for approval by the Mayor and Common Council outlining strategies the City and community might pursue to mitigate the effect of declining fuel supplies in areas including, but not limited to: transportation, municipal services, energy production and consumption, food security, water and wastewater. The Task Force is required to present its Report to the Mayor and Council for approval. Once the Report is approved, the Task Force will expire unless renewed by resolution.

Members of the Bloomington Peak Oil Task Force include: Peter Bane, Gary Charbonneau, Clay Fuqua, Christine Glaser, Stephanie Kimball, Dave Rollo (Chair), Jim Silberstein and Greg Travis. (View Task Force members’ biographical sketches here.) (PDF 127.97 KB)

The Task Force’s report was approved by the Common Council on December 2, 2009.
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See also Portland ratchets up volunteer-led ‘tool libraries’ that lend tools for free
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