Local leaders in coal communities are developing solutions that tackle the climate crisis and create equitable and sustainable economic growth from the ground up
Ohio Consumers Power Alliance is pleased to announce that we have endorsed the National Economic Transition Platform. Launched June 30, 2020, this platform provides national leaders a path forward to developing the community-powered, national economic transition program that American coal communities need and deserve.
From Appalachia to the Navajo Nation, the people hit hardest by the changing coal economy are facing a profound crisis. As these challenges continue to mount, local leaders in coal communities are working to tackle the climate crisis and create equitable and sustainable economic growth. The National Economic Transition Platform is crafted by these leaders, to give national policymakers a framework for a comprehensive national economic transition program that will create and support vibrant, inclusive communities.
This platform empowers workers and communities—in rural, urban, and tribal settings— as the nation adapts to the realities of climate change while confronting economic and public health crises. These solutions are built by and for communities to create resilient economies that can withstand shocks like economic recessions and worldwide pandemics. Together with more than 80 other organizations, Ohio Consumers Power Alliance has endorsed this platform as a way to work toward a future where the communities hit hardest by the decline of the coal industry have equitable economies, thriving local businesses, and family-sustaining jobs.
The framework for this platform is built on seven pillars of integrated federal policy solutions. Fully addressing the challenges of the energy transition requires a substantial local, state, and federal-level investment, as well as investment from the private sector and philanthropy. Together, Ohio Consumers Power Alliance and our co-signatories call upon national policymakers to advance the platform’s framework; it is the best way to serve and assist the people and places most affected by past and future coal transitions. The time for equitable and lasting change is now.
"It doesn't take much of a leap to see a connection between underrepresentation in the solar work force and the lower use of solar in some neighborhoods. Whole communities are much less likely to have job contacts in the industry, and are also less likely to know someone who has rooftop solar and can talk about its benefits.
These discrepancies touch on a larger environmental justice issue: Majority black neighborhoods also have higher levels of air pollution from industry and fossil fuel electricity than majority white neighborhoods, according to a large body of research.
The inequities in solar power are a major concern because the solar industry is likely to be an increasingly important part of our economy.
If the benefits of this industry are mostly limited to people who already are in a position of privilege, this leads to justified resentment. And that resentment can be exploited by industries that want to slow down the transition to clean energy. For example, some utilities have sought help from NAACP chapters to oppose rooftop solar, based on the idea that the benefits of solar are going to mainly white and affluent households, shifting costs to everyone else. The utilities' argument is shaky at best, with little evidence that solar cost-shifting is anything more than a minor issue, but there is no escaping that black communities have not gotten a proportionate share of the benefits of solar."
-- Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News
COLUMBUS — "Environmental advocates have been working on the local level for years, finding success in getting cities to commit to getting 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources, replacing gas-powered city vehicles with electric cars, and even building their own solar arrays, among other things.
But now, such efforts are becoming more organized with the creation of Power A Clean Future Ohio, which will work to help municipal leaders implement carbon-reduction plans. The new group is backed by organizations such as the Ohio Environmental Council, the Ohio Mayors Alliance, and the Sierra Club’s Ohio chapter.
'Regardless of what the state is doing, there’s just a lot of opportunity for local governments to step in here, and to take a kind of leadership role,' said Joe Flarida, executive director of Power A Clean Future Ohio. 'There’s just kind of a natural fit there and a lot of authority that they have to do things right away, so we’re taking advantage.'"
— Jeremy Pelzer, Cleveland.com
Members of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio meet in March 2018. photo: PUCO
COLUMBUS — “Randazzo himself raised the question of recusals when he opposed Democrat Howard Petricoff for a seat on the PUCO in 2016. Petricoff had represented wind industry clients, as well as some companies that favor a shift to renewable energy.
…The issue is broader in Randazzo’s case. As PUCO chair, he would have both a vote and a leadership role in setting the commission’s agenda. Ohio law would also make Randazzo chair of the Ohio Power Siting Board, giving him a say in which renewable energy projects can be built.
Similar notices in additional cases reflect recent representation of companies such as U.S. Steel, Timken, Cleveland Thermal and more. Some of those cases are “reasonable arrangement” cases that seek regulators’ blessing for special deals for large industrial customers. Such deals can shift more utility costs to consumers.”
— Kathiann M Kowalski, Midwest Energy News