On Saturday, August 21, the Canary Coalition will unveil its initiative designed to dramatically reduce electrical energy consumption in North Carolina through utility rate restructuring. The group intends its North Carolina-based proposal to serve as a model that can be used in other states or nationally as a comprehensive way to address environmental imperatives including the climate change crisis, as it paves the way for a transformation to a new decentralized electrical energy grid characterized by the use of diverse, safe renewable energy resources.
“Innovative Utility Rate Restructuring addresses the core issue preventing meaningful progress on energy efficiency, conservation and the rapid transformation to renewables,” explains Avram Friedman, Executive Director of the regional grassroots organization. Consumer choices are ultimately driven by economics. This proposal recognizes the effect of economic choices on our use of energy and on the inefficient way energy is produced and delivered in our state and in our nation today. By re-working the utility rate structure to substantially reward efforts at conservation and efficiency as it discourages waste, we can dramatically reduce energy consumption and provide a strong economic incentive for massive investment in small and moderately-sized independent renewable energy and co-generation systems. Rather than setting limited goals with targeted percentages and dates, this proposal provides an economic mechanism to begin the process of a complete efficiency and renewable transformation. The sooner we get started, the faster it will happen.”
Almost all energy and economic experts agree that greater energy efficiency will result in higher profits for businesses and industries as electrical consumers will save money. It’s anticipated that thousands of jobs will be created in new service industries focused on efficiency and renewable energy development.
The Innovative Utility Rate-Restructuring initiative will be offered by the Canary Coalition and other supporters to the NC General Assembly as a proposed bill in the 2011 session of the state legislature.
The organization is conducting a campaign to gather public support prior to the opening of the legislative session next year. The kick-off of that campaign will begin with a 20-minute Power Point presentation, at 3:30 pm, on Saturday, August 21, at the Southern Energy and Environment Expo, at the Agricultural Center in Arden, in Classroom 1. The public and members of the press are invited to attend. There will be a question and answer period immediately following the presentation.
The Canary Coalition has become one of the most influential grassroots organizations operating in North Carolina today. While it enjoys a widespread and politically diverse membership, the organization is known for maintaining a non-compromising posture, standing up to powerful industrial interests and not mincing words with regulatory agencies and elected officials when advocating on air quality, energy and transportation issues.
Canary Coalition activities have been instrumental in several successful keystone environmental initiatives in the past decade in North Carolina. Among a dozen organizations to introduce the Clean Smokestacks Act, in 2001, the Canary Coalition alone was responsible for building public support and offering a plan to avoid a steep compromise that would have nearly gutted the legislation.
In 2007, despite intense pressure from Progress Energy and a cowed Buncombe County Commission, the Canary Coalition led a popular uprising to stop the construction of a new and unnecessary polluting power plant at Woodside, re-directing the effort toward energy efficiency and conservation-promoting public policies.
The Canary Coalition continues to lead in the effort to transform public policy on issues related to air quality and climate change.
For more infomation about the Canary Coalition and its work visit www.canarycoalition.org.Read the full article