Dirty fossil fuel utilities are opposing progressive change, raising rates and killing the planet, but people across the country, led by youth and First Nations activism, are taking back power. Climate hawks and economic justice activists are working together to make our power grid and politics cleaner, and fighting for more affordable and equitable energy costs. National leaders and Arizona activists share their stories of how to build coalitions and create a greener, brighter future across political, class and racial boundaries.
- Coal is still key in Arizona. There are six coal-fired power plants. They are located in poorer areas of the state and in Native American reservations.
- Five of the six plants are under review for generating haze in the environment.
- The H. Wilson Sundt Coal Plant located near Tucson affects a large population with pollution. They are working on converting to natural gas, but that is not enough. There is a need to convince them to start converting to solar.
- There are millions of dollars of “Dark Money” invested in electing coal friendly commissioners.
- There is collaboration between commissioners and the Koch brothers.
- Ads are run against roof top solar to stop the movement away from coal.
- Solar adopters are paying the highest energy rates when connected to the grid.
- Permitting is expensive to install solar.
- Utilities look at solar as destroying their business practices.
- Arizona has the most solar capacity in the nation, but obstacles are put in the way to prohibit or slow adoption.
- Officials downplay the solar success in Germany by trying to claim (falsely) that Germany has a lot of blackouts and brownouts.
- Coal mines do not generate enough jobs.
- Right wing politicians are trying to block climate change education in schools.
- Arizona citizens are organizing, protesting and commenting around clean power and reducing haze.
- What can we do? Speak up and tell your story; write blogs, opinion pieces; write to public officials; attend EPA/ACC ADEQ public hearings, speak at public hearings…
- Contrary to what you might hear from media and politicians, solar energy is very important to the local home owners. Many are interested in adopting solar.
- Solar production has gone up as the price the price of solar systems have come down.
- IINA Solutions Rural Renewable Energy Initiative works to install 2 kW solar systems and 1 kW wind generators in rural areas and reservations, and work to make housing energy-efficient.
- We need to grow the chorus of climate change activists.
- When talking about the effects of poor climate decisions, it is important to stress the safety of our children, because they must live in the climate that we are creating today.