Currently, tremendous differences in state energy policies have created a disjointed or non-existent national strategy regarding renewable energy. At this time of unprecedented volatility in the world energy market, a looming recession, and continued financial instability nationwide, most states and school systems face dire challenges to their budgets. Unfortunately, at this time when maximum flexibility is needed, most states and school systems find themselves saddled with laws and regulations that prevent the adoption of attractive options for reducing their energy and operating costs through renewable systems. Such options may be available at no cost to the taxpayers given willing investors and the financial incentives already in place.
For example — "Unless changes are made to Senate Bill No. 213 Michigan schools will have no economic incentive to pursue alternative energy options. This runs counter to President-elect Obama's economic recovery cornerstone of renewable energy," states Michigan GREEN Executive Director Doug Russell. "Students will not have access to hands-on learning that accompanies on-site renewable energy installations, and local communities will not experience the benefits of cleaner air and water from the use of renewable energy technologies. Michigan GREEN has secured signatures from 39 Michigan school superintendents representing 32,000 students on a petition to the Michigan Public Service Commission requesting schools be exempted from standby charges."
In 2007, Nevada passed legislation for a Renewable Energy in Schools Pilot Program. Recent action by the Public Utilities Commission in response to that legislation has opened the door for third party providers of renewable energy systems. "I wanted an option to make Renewable Power available to our 310,000 students at no cost and no risk to the district," said Paul Gerner, Associate Superintendent for Facilities. "We now have opened the door to that brighter future, where our kids can have large portions of their power coming from renewable systems that they can experience first hand, funded by willing investors, and at a net savings on their utility bills. It's a win-win. Our students get a hands-on education and scholarships for higher education."
Michigan GREEN spokesperson William Naubert said, "Initiatives like these illustrate why we seek support for a national petition that will provide a template for an energy policy for our nation's schools. Efforts toward energy self-reliance will be expedited by establishing a national model to guide decisions. We seek a national energy policy that is consistent with President-elect Obama's plan for renewable energy and education at our nation's schools."
Michigan GREEN (Group for a Renewable Energy Efficient Nation) is a non-profit organization working with educational associations to raise awareness of these issues. We invite all Americans to join as a single voice to deliver a message to Congress to pass legislation that ensures the future of our children, our energy supplies, and our environment. Please visit the Michigan GREEN web site to view our strategies to join us and sign our petition for your voice to be heard. Your contributions and participation will bolster our efforts to make a difference
The time for change is right now. America's students thank you for your support.