Energy Efficiency Comments to TVA Board

Hi all:  I'm sharing a blog written by a fellow member of the TN Healthy Energy Campaign (THE Campaign). Do you also see the same moral/ethical responsibilities that GINI espouses being expressed in this blog entry?

Comments presented by Debbie Welch (Sewanee LCAT) to the TVA Board at its meeting in Rainsville, AL on November 15, 2012

Picture of Widow Creek coal plant and rising sun on way to TVA board meeting

     My name is Debbie Welch, and I represent the community of Sewanee Tennessee, which is also the home of the University of the South. I am the vice chair with the Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace and am current coordinator of our Sewanee Climate Action team which is a part of the TN Healthy Energy Campaign, a statewide network of organizations and individuals who believe in the future of renewable energy. Most importantly, I am a mother who wants to pass on a clean planet for my daughter to live on.

     Moving towards renewable energy is the future. Living near the University, I get to witness the college students taking great strides in our own area, putting in place energy efficient programs on campus, in their own dorms and classrooms. They are an inspiration to all of us to what is possible when we work together for positive change.

     Energy efficiency helps save money, it creates many jobs and is a booming industry for TVA to be involved with, and most important it helps reduce TVA’s carbon footprint in Tennessee by letting go of dirty, cost consuming coal plants. It would cost TVA much more to stay in the dirty energy field, but if TVA shifts towards the newest of clean energy technologies, well, this is a win-win for all of us. A goal of 1% annual energy efficiency savings over the next 20 years is not unattainable, even to TVA’s own reports. My community feels the time is now. Our weather is getting more and more unpredictable, and the environment and residents of Tennessee are tired of feeling the impacts of dirty energy and the destruction of this beautiful land we live on.

     Our community also has a great interest in helping people lowering their energy bills with programs that help teach about energy efficiency. Many low-income residents would benefit with programs the TVA has to offer, but they are in the dark about it all. Our community would love to see TVA do more in promoting these programs.  

     I don’t know if you have sat by a waterfall lately or taken a hike in the woods, but maybe it is a good idea to do this and consider all the possibilities for the future of clean energy in Tennessee. I believe the goal of 1% annual energy efficiency savings over the next 20 years is possible and the community I represent today wants to see this happen.

    Thank you for your time.

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