Election Day. Thought it would never get here, didn’t you? Every four years, and for much of the time in between candidates for political office are on the air and on the web to say either what they have done, or what they will do if elected.
This Election Day will be a pivot for energy no matter who wins on the national scale, ECC believes. In the past couple of years there has been a growing base of action on energy and climate issues on the regional or local levels versus national level. Once that has started it is likely to continue.
“State climate action is accelerating as more states are taking increasingly ambitious actions throughout the country. Currently, 15 states and territories have taken legislative or executive action to move toward a 100 percent clean energy future. This includes 10 states, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, that have passed legislation to implement 100 percent clean electricity policies and economywide greenhouse gas pollution-reduction programs.” (Source)
As energy and climate debates become more local, the impact of the average consumer can more easily be felt. Make that, should be felt. “States are the laboratories of democracy, and the experiment is working to reduce greenhouse gases faster than predicted.” (Source)
In some cases, states are working together, like the New England region, to address energy and climate. Those states, of course, seem to have greater common issues in infrastructure and no innate energy resources. Makes sense.
Other states are going it alone. North Carolina put together a clean energy mandate within the past year or so. Still awaiting action; still looking for real partnership where it is needed.
What may be surprising is action at the city level. I say “surprising” because it is such a massive societal and scientific need, being addressed at the smallest political level.
Among recent city activity is Lincoln, Nebraska. “Lincoln’s climate may warm by as much as 5 degrees over the next three decades and residents may face harsher weather conditions and more extreme weather events,” says the Lincoln Journal-Star. “While the plan addresses issues and impacts brought on by a rapidly changing environment, the thrust of this effort is actually about protecting our people and ensuring our good quality of life for the future,” said Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird.
“Of the largest 100 U.S. cities, only 45 had fully established greenhouse gas reduction targets as of 2017 … More than 450 U.S. mayors have pledged to continue honoring the Paris Agreement. And more than 1,500 local governments have moved to develop climate action plans and global greenhouse gas reduction targets.” (Source) That report noted the names of cities as of 2017. The Carolina cities are noted here. (Didn’t find an updated list of cities.)
After all the election parties are being cleaned up, get ready for the heavy lifting. It is needed. No matter who gets the top spot there is momentum in energy and climate. Consumers have their work cut out for them to learn about energy and be vocal at their city and state levels of government and assure that their energy needs are expressed to their power companies.