Crisis Should Spur Citizens to Take Control of Electricity System – Seeing the Light Press Release

Date: 9 Jun 2001 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

New Book Provides Concrete Examples of How to Regain Control and Reliability

Minneapolis – Few Americans feel they understand, let alone have any say over, the intricate forces that determine whether their lights go on. In today’s energy system, we have become utterly dependent on distant power plants, long-haul transmission lines, and unaccountable decision-makers.

To regain reliability and peace of mind, according to a new book published by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), citizens must take charge of their electrons.

In Seeing the Light: Regaining Control of our Electricity System , author and national energy expert David Morris describes the changing technological and political context of the debate over energy policy, and offers actual rules and strategies that will shift both generating capacity and decision-making authority to the local level.

"For those who want to know what is wrong with our electricity system and how to fix it, Seeing the Light is a must read," says U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota.

Morrisoutlines the steps necessary to develop a flexible network of small-scale power plants, including microturbines, fuel cells, and renewable generators. Indeed, consumers and communities have already begun to move in this direction. Seeing the Light points out how many cities and states, in the wake of California’s energy crisis, are redefining their electric futures in ways that achieve not only reliability and low cost, but social and environmental goals as well. Texas is rewriting its rules to encourage a new generation of on-site, small-scale power plants. Ohio has enacted legislation that encourages cities to become electricity buyers for their residents. Sacramento and Los Angeles have embraced a decentralized power approach focused on rooftop solar cells.

But the power plants of the 21st century will not flourish until cities and states adopt new rules that reject both the top-down regulated utility model of the past and the out-of-control deregulation of today.

Seeing the Light also describes how citizens are taking back control over their distribution and transmission grids. Customer-owned utilities are increasingly seen as a means of avoiding the risks of deregulation while still capturing its promises: lower costs, better service, and genuine customer choice.

"Policy makers and customers are looking to regain control over their electricity system, bringing power, both literally and figuratively, to the people," writes Morris.

Order by telephone, call 612-276-3456. Call for disounts on 10 or more books.

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John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.