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4/4/2007--Ross Dam, WA..Ross dam, which produces hydro-electricity for the city-owned Seattle City Light power company. In most cities in the US, the electric utility is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions because it burns coal or gas to produce electricity. In Seattle, by contrast, the City-owned electric utility is a point of climate protection pride. That?s because Seattle City Light is the only electric utility in the country to have achieved zero net greenhouse gas emissions. Continuing this policy yields the single largest greenhouse gas reduction in the plan?about 200,000 metric tons. ..The utility starts with a low baseline of greenhouse gas emissions because clean hydroelectricity produces approximately 90 percent of City Light?s power. To reach its goal of zero net greenhouse gas emissions, the utility?s first priority is to acquire cost-effective energy conservation and renewable energy and then, using stringent criteria and third-party verification, to purchase carbon offsets for the remaining emissions.  (An ?offset? is a project that compensates for some or all of an organization?s global warming pollution by avoiding or storing an equal amount of emissions outside of its own operations.) City Light offsets approximately 200,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year and spends about $2 per customer per year to meet this commitment. ..COOL CITY.Seattle takes on the Global Warming Challenge.Photographs and text ©2007 Stuart Isett...In the winter of 2004 and 2005, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels was hearing alarming reports from the nearby Cascade Mountains, the stunning snow capped peaks that sit just east of the city in Washington State, in the US Pacific Northwest. Nickels?s advisers were coming to him weekly with reports that the snow pack in the mountains was just 1 percent of normal. This was serious issue in the city, where melting snow feeds the city's reservoirs in the springtime and swells the rivers that supply its hydroelectric e