California law mandates that the TRPA reduce greenhouse gas emissions five percent by 2035. Now, the agency has a plan in place to reduce emissions by seven percent with modifications of transportation and land use patterns. The TRPA’s Jeff Cowen says a greenhouse gas emissions study by the California Tahoe Conservancy paved the way to go even beyond that seven percent. Cowan said, that can be accomplished by requiring local jurisdictions to meet green building standards.
“But now it is giving us the nod to look ahead and start looking to local government to put green building codes in place to start improving energy efficiency of buildings and homes,” Cowan said.
The plan also encourages schools, homeowners and businesses to retrofit buildings for energy efficiency and there is a 230-page Sustainability Action Plan, including ways to reduce greenhouse emissions voluntarily.
"It could mean retrofitting existing buildings with more energy efficient windows and doors as well,” Cowan added.
Tourism in North Lake Tahoe is rising dramatically even in the drought. Hotel occupancy was up 8 percent last weekend over the same period last year according to the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.
The early closure of snowless ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area has affected businesses and people... and not in good ways.
It would not be an odd sight in the spring. But there is something depressing about a closed ski slope in the middle of winter. The trails are bare and grassy. The chairlifts just hang there, waving a little with the breeze.
The United States Department of Agriculture says January is shaping up to be another dry month in the Lake Tahoe area and that signals an unprecedented fourth year of drought.
Temperature records are falling around Lake Tahoe and that is melting ski areas.