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Doug Krizner: More than 250 mayors from around the country meet in Washington today for their annual conference. The housing crisis will get a lot of attention. It's depressed property values and eroded real-estate taxes. The mayors will also look at ways to cash in on the coming green revolution. From the Sustainability Desk, Marketplace's Dan Grech has more.
Dan Grech: The U.S. Conference of Mayors has been a leader in fighting global climate change. While the U.S. government has rejected the Kyoto Protocol, 750 mayors have pledged to meet Kyoto's targets for greenhouse gas reduction in their own cities.
Tom Cochrane is executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors:
Tom Cochrane: In addition to saving the planet and making it a healthier place to live, the economic impact is going to be very much like the Silicon Valley was in the 90's. I think there's a high-growth area here for green jobs and green careers and green businesses.
Ten billion dollars in block grants will be available over the next five years for climate-change initiatives.
Cochrane says housing foreclosures have forced cities to deal with a different sort of green issue. Across the country, abandoned homes are overgrown with weeds, blighting neighborhoods.
Cochrane: I said what can we do to help, and one mayor jokingly said, "We need some lawn mowers."
I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.