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12 Jun

Be The Change You Want to See

This year in 2015 legislation we dodged a bullet to dismantle the state’s Conservation Improvement Funding and programs. This was one of several regressive energy policy bills. More than 10,000 business and 50,000 MN families have used programs such as CEE (Center for Energy and Environment). Dozens of statewide utilities encourage and incentivise their ratepayers to improve the energy performance of their buildings. Utility companies across MN admit the successes of these programs. 
Why would Representative Pat Garofalo champion regressive policy that takes us backwards? Maybe we should examine Representative Garofalo’s relationship as state chair of an organization called ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). From ALEC’S website “ALEC’s far-reaching national network of state legislators that crosses geographic and political boundaries, and affects all levels of government, is without equal. No other organization in America today can claim as many valuable assets – both people and ideas – that have influence on as many key decision-making centers.” So lets say that organization is funded by big business: the Oil and Gas industries and Utilities (this is a proven fact). Lets say, that the next generation of clean energy was a direct competitor: threatens their profits, share holders, market place and industry. Clean energy affects how they pollute and how they make money. How could this then influence the creation of policy and legislation in their favor? Well, I hope I don’t have to draw a picture of that for you. Because the last puzzle piece is the elected representatives who champion this garbage. Enough said.
I am excited and inspired and want to thank all of those who turned out for the Oil Sands march this past Sunday. WOW, 5,000 people. I am humbled and honored by the many champions who devote and sacrifice personal time for global change. Businesses, residence, clergy elected leaders, students, retirees and many more. We are in a state, fortunate to have future change makers on the right side of energy history. As my mom (a life long teacher) always said “we are lucky to be in a state of educated people”. Yes we are. I believe our energy transformation has just begun. I believe energy production and consumption must fundamentally change, and it all starts with education.

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