This blog was written by Jennifer Rennicks, former Senior Director of Policy & Communications at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.Guest Blog | October 31, 2014
This year’s elections are critical to the expansion and evolution of clean energy on both a regional and national level. Strides that have been taken could be halted or strengthened depending on how the votes decide. If the wrong officials are elected and allowed to maintain a hold on the direction of energy use, there will be potentially no progression in the stride for clean energy. Dirty money and dirty methods are a constant in the game of politics, allowing powerful entities more influence than newer, less funded ones. As citizens, we must educate ourselves on the many financial transactions present in this political game. Who is funding who; and at what cost? These are questions we should strive to answer. Informed voters can make the difference between an environmentally-apathetic government, and a climate-aware one.
Clean energy solutions such as solar and wind have not only successfully provided energy for a growing number of regions around the world but have also provided new job opportunities. New technology and higher demand provide an economic boom in this field. Clean energy does not only implement a better way of life that will benefit future generations but also provides a newly introduced field of study that would assuredly lead to improvements in the mechanics and implementation of cleaner, greener energy technology. Incidents such as the coal ash spill in Kingston, TN or the growing toxicity of the Alabama water supply due to coal ash leaching into rivers and streams are both preventable through clean energy solutions. Utility companies wish to deny responsibility and cover up the damage, thus keeping the public ignorant to the extremely unpredictable and hazardous problem. Solar and wind energy yield very little environmental impact and the expansion of both are imperative to the health of the global climate and public. With so many green energy solutions available to us today, it is mind boggling to see them so persistently combated.
Energy reforms are desperately needed in all part of the country and the best way to ensure the arguments for these reforms are heard is to support clean energy candidates. There are more than a handful of issues still pending and waiting to be addressed in the 114th Congress next January. Issues such as a Gulf Oil Spill Response, limits and regulations on harmful air pollutants such as carbon pollution, and the creation of a national renewable energy standard are just a few long awaited concerns needing to be addressed. Clean energy candidates need public support to make any viable changes and go head to head with dirty energy monopolies that manipulate the system in their own interests.
When voting in this election, take into consideration the future generations that will be effected by the decisions made today. Will the future be in the hands of clean energy barring individuals who push the agenda for big oil and utility companies in exchange for dirty money? Or will we allow for more progressive and innovative thinkers to leave those companies shaking in their boots at the thought of their monopoly on energy provisions being challenged and restricted? Energy is a necessity in everyday life, how it is provided is often overlooked or unimportant to the third party, but we can no longer remain stagnant and complacent in this fight. The issue is literally washing up on our back porch, contaminating our drinking water, and devastating our livelihoods; short-term solutions can be found to combat the issue but only for so long. Clean energy provides a long term solution in the reversal of the negative effect our negligence has had on the earth’s environment.
On November 4th, keep in mind the many positive results clean energy would have on the environment. Think of the reduced pollution, the reduced health hazards caused by pollution. Consider the lasting affect each energy option will have on generations to come. To continue on the oil driven, resource sucking path we are currently on will leave behind a crippled environment created by our own neglect. Clean energy solutions must be put in place to ensure a sustainable and viable future for the human race. The goal is longevity and the key is clean energy.