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We Should All Dream of and Act for a Cleaner and More Affordable Energy Future   – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

We all need to dream and act for a cleaner and more accessible energy future

Pastor Ambrose Carroll (racialequity.atlanticfellows.org)

The other day I had an insight into social, environmental and climate justice. Something like this happened: If Dr. King were alive today, what would he say to this modern world …

so full of sorrow and confusion – about how to solve the double problems of climate change and environmental injustice? After all, we hear so many times that if we want good jobs, we will have to sacrifice a clean environment.

But unfortunately, this mantra has become a terrible proclamation, as our world is facing the terrible effects of global warming and our communities are disproportionately affected by public health problems caused by the toxic emissions of dirty industries. This reality weighed on my heart for several days, when a powerful thought finally came to me – the dream lives through all of us in our constant struggle for what is right.

The battle for this very precious dream is happening in California right now. And this is crucial for the environmental and economic future of our communities. The good news is that new green technologies, such as solar and rooftop batteries, give our communities the opportunity to both reduce the cost of their monthly electricity bills and reduce carbon emissions.

Of course, this solar roof revolution benefits working families as much as anyone. According to statistics collected by The Berkley Lab, in 2019 the number of rooftop solar installations for families earning less than $ 50,000 (18,000) was the same as for the homes of families earning more of $ 250,000 per year.

The bad news is that now that this technology is becoming more accessible to all communities, the big utilities want to take it away from us. They persuaded the California Public Services Commission (CPUC) to add a huge tax on rooftop solar energy and reduce the credit called Net Metering that rooftop solar consumers receive for the extra electricity they produce and send back to the grid.

Major utilities and their political allies are running a public relations campaign to convince politicians and community groups that solar energy on the roof is harming the poor. Their argument is something like this: Every time a rich person puts solar panels on his roof, utilities have to charge more to the poor to pay for the total cost of running the entire electricity grid.

Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Well, it would be, if it were true. But it’s not like that. The only thing that suffers when families, schools, businesses and churches put solar energy on their roofs is the profits from utilities. These big utilities, such as PG&E, Edison and SDG & E, are fighting to keep their big profits by trying to scare colored people into believing that the roof’s sunny future is bad. Let me tell you the truth about the incredible potential of a solar energy future on the roof.

Everyone who attends Sunday services knows about the charity. The fund is used to help siblings who need help with basic things like food, clothes, rent and – yes – paying their utility bills. In my church, paying a family utility bill is the most common use of the charity. But my dream, and the dream of many pastors across the nation, is to tackle communal poverty by using something that our community has in abundance – the roofs of our churches.

As CEO of Green the Church, a religion-based environmental project, I am currently working with several churches to help them install solar panels on their roofs and then sell that power to their congregations at a reduced price using something called Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). This is a very exciting prospect. But the dream of a church-based CCA relies on our churches to continue to receive fair NET Metering credit for the power we produce.

If the big utilities and their special interest friends do it, we can forget about achieving our dream of a cleaner and more affordable energy future. This is because fair NET Metering credit is essential to making this dream a reality. It’s simple: if the big utilities make their way to the CPUC, then the rich and the strong win again, and the people and our communities lose.

The Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll is a leading pastor at Renewal Worship Center in Berkeley, California, and executive director of the national organization for sustainable environment, Green the Church.

We Should All Dream of and Act for a Cleaner and More Affordable Energy Future   – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link We Should All Dream of and Act for a Cleaner and More Affordable Energy Future   – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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