Self-Determination Can Save the Energy System

Date: 24 Jan 2024 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

ILSR Co-Director and Energy Democracy Initiative Director John Farrell gave a presentation for the Local Control of Energy panel at The Solutions Summit 2023. In his presentation, Farrell emphasized the importance of self-determination over the energy system.

Americans prefer local control, explains Farrell, yet continue to tolerate a costly, undemocratic energy system. Monopoly utilities disconnect millions of customers for nonpayment, yet rake in billions of dollars for their shareholders and executives. Utilities are also some of the top players in political lobbying, pushing for policies that diminish the power of their ratepayers. Meanwhile, local ownership of clean energy has big benefits: reduced energy costs, a boost to local economies, and opportunities to address the historic harms of the fossil fuel industry.

Communities can have meaningful choices if their states and cities step up to the challenge. States can pass policies that empower communities or hold utilities to the public interest. Cities also have a lot of power through permitting, pressuring state regulatory agencies, or even setting up local climate action funds.

Watch Farrell’s fifteen minute presentation:

Learn more about the problems and solutions that Farrell raises in his presentation:

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Maria McCoy

Maria McCoy is a Researcher with the Energy Democracy Initiative. In this role, she contributes to blog posts, podcasts, video content, and interactive features.