Cleveland, Birthplace of Standard Oil, Promises 100% Renewable Energy

CC BY 2.0. Erik Drost

There's symbolism here. Let's hope there's substance too.

When the Rockefeller Family fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation divested from fossil fuels, it sent an important signal about where the future is headed.

Now another cornerstone of the Standard Oil story is moving to the greener side.

Inside Climate News reports that the city of Cleveland, where Standard Oil incorporated in 1870, is joining a growing roster of cities in committing to 100% renewable energy and 80% emissions cuts by the middle of the century.

Now, to be fair, as the report itself lays out, the commitment currently lacks details on exactly how the 100% goal will be achieved. And working with utilities in Ohio—which has seen its fair share of anti-clean tech legislative action—won't necessarily be easy. But this is a welcome step which once again makes it clear that regressive policies in DC are likely to spark a backlash in cities, communities and companies who understand that action on climate is inevitable, and that those who get out in front of the challenge are likely to benefit the most.

Hopefully, we'll see cities making this pledge putting their money where their mouth is by also divesting public money from fossil fuels and investing, instead, in the industries of the future which will be so critical to eventually meeting these goals.