May 20, 2008
A bill filed in the Massachusetts state house yesterday would commit $100 million over five years to clean-energy research and development. This is a valuable step to encourage the use of clean and renewable energy in the state, but it is not completely on target. Sixty-five percent of the bill’s funds would go towards researching new technology at academic institutions and a newly created Clean Energy Technology Center.
We believe that the state must also consider grassroots efforts that are using existing green technology to build environmental justice in lower income communities. Community-owned cooperatives, like the one Co-op Power is fostering in partnership with ACE, are effectively promoting local green-collar jobs, solar installations, and green building. The development of green-collar jobs should not be limited to elite academic institutions; instead, it should be part of a movement that provides benefits for all communities, especially those that have been subject to past environmental injustices.
If you are interested in learning more about community-based efforts to build a sustainable and just energy future, consider attending the 2008 Sustainable Energy Summit and the Northeast Climate Confluence this summer. For more info on our work on community-owned sustainable energy, contact Marina.