After the inauguration of our 45th President, many changes were made to the WhiteHouse.gov including removing any information about climate change, LGBTQ issues, renewable energy and more. Feel free to search for yourself.
What I did find is this – “An America First Energy Plan” that basically outlines intents to abolish the existing or proposed policies that actually help to make America a great and safe place to live.
I was shocked. Upset. Frustrated. I still am, but I need to focus that energy into making sure we still work for climate change policy and justice. So, I reached out to some friends and asked for help to find hope, to inspire me to keep up the good fight. It worked. Here are a few reasons why:
1, This headline from popular online zine, Vox.com, “Illinois passes huge, bipartisan energy bill, proves democracy still works”
2, This blurb from the The Environmental Law & Policy Center summary of the bill helps explain the positive impact further: “Future Energy Jobs Bill (SB 2814) will improve and modernize the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by ensuring long-term, reliable funding sources for the purchase of renewable resources into the foreseeable future. The newly updated RPS creates a secure, stable budget of more than $200 million annually for the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) on behalf of Illinois utilities by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA). It also establishes new community solar, low-income solar, brownfield solar, and distributed generation programs that will lead to diverse and balanced solar market development that is accessible to all Illinois residents.”
3, (summary of a conversation with a colleague) So that means at least IL is not going to kill renewables. Also, even though Illinois allows fracking, the low gas prices have discouraged fracking in Illinois, and as of today no permits have been granted. Furthermore, the economics of renewables have gotten much better and we should expect that to continue. In IL and surrounding, republican controlled states, we have seen movement toward green energy… Texas has one of the largest wind energy programs in the nation!
4, Here is a recording from ELPC Executive Director, Howard Learner talking with Justin Kaufmann from WGN Radio. Learner gives a lot of insight into what we should be concerned about the future of the EPA, but also why we should be hopeful.
5, And another interview with Learner, by Kari Lydersen from the Midwest Energy News: Q&A: Advocate upbeat about Midwest as Trump administration looms
This interview even more so highlights progress that has been made, bipartisan in fact, on clean energy and why he believes it will continue.
But it will take work. It will take constituents reaching out to their representatives and telling them to support a clean and healthy today and tomorrow for all of us.