In the absence of federal leadership, and building on a string of clean energy policy wins in states, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters(CTLCV) is joining with the national League of Conservation Voters and Leagues across the nation to double down on our progress towards a clean energy economy at the state and local level. The Leagues are launching network-wide "Clean Energy for All" campaign to move the country closer to the goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.
With an initial investment of over $2 million, the network of organizations is collectively engaging at the state and local level by:
Securing commitments from candidates at every level to support moving their state to 100% clean energy by 2050.
Grassroots organizing to demonstrate demand for clean energy and pollution-free communities.
Pushing for smart investments, like using the VW settlement money on clean, electric school buses as part of the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign.
Lobbying of decision-makers from governors to state legislators to mayors to school boards to break down the barriers to clean energy with specific policy proposals.
In Connecticut, the national rollout of this campaign coincides with a key set of votes at the State Legislature’s Energy and Technology committee. With our renewable energy goals lagging behind our neighboring states, Connecticut is at a crossroads as lawmakers consider whether to increase mandates for renewable power and support a shared solar program that would expand equitable access to clean energy. At the same time, advocates are fighting efforts that would weaken critical clean energy programs like net-metering.
“Fighting for clean energy is not new, but at this critical time this campaign represents an ambitious new approach for our family of organizations by unleashing local campaigns across the country that collectively add up to a significant shift to a clean energy economy,”said Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters President.
“The demand for clean energy is going up and the price keeps going down. This campaign is about breaking down the remaining barriers that keep affordable clean energy and pollution-free communities from being accessible to everyone. And it’s about putting the power to make that happen in the hands of voters, instead of polluters,”said Lori Brown, CTLCV Executive Director.“We need the right policies in place to ensure clean energy continues to grow. We must elect climate champions who will prioritize our transition to a 100% clean energy economy.” According to the League, the transition to clean energy is urgently needed and achievable with existing technology – and it is already underway. Wind and solar now compete and win on costs with outdated fossil fuels and clean energy jobs are significantly outpacing fossil fuel jobs. If these trends continue, clean energy has the opportunity to be a major driver of employment in every city, state, and region.
The campaign will be engaged throughout the 30 states with a conservation voter organization presence, with each state engaged in its own local, state or regional effort.
The Conservation Voter Movement is a unique network of 30 state organizations and one federal organization that closely collaborate and share expertise and resources in order to effect positive change at all levels of government.
BACKGROUND AND STATISTICS: Clean Energy Transitioning to clean energy will avert the worst impacts of climate change while creating good jobs, boosting our economy, saving consumers money, and protecting our health.
Solar now employs more people in U.S. electricity generation than oil, coal, or gas combined.
In 2016, the number of solar jobs increased in 44 of the 50 states, and more than 260,000 Americans now work in solar.
In 2016, solar employment grew 17 times faster than the US economy.
Wind energy has grown an average of 12 percent annually over the last five years. Solar energy has risen at rates of about 20 percent annually in recent years. These gains are creating millions of homegrown, quality jobs, with 2.7 million people already working in the clean energy industry.
Today, 1.9 million Americans are employed, in whole or in part, by the energy efficiency products and services industry. Almost 1.2 million of those jobs are in construction.
The price of installing solar power has dropped by 70% since 2010.
Texas produces more wind power than most countries and hosts nearly a quarter of America's wind jobs. In Texas in 2016, wind power capacity surpassed coal.
MidAmerican Energy, Iowa’s largest utility committed in 2017 to generate 100% of its energy from renewables.
Across the U.S. over 50 cities, more than five counties and one state, have already adopted ambitious 100% clean energy goals.
BACKGROUND AND STATISTICS: Electric School Buses Volkswagen (VW) cheated federal emissions tests and polluted the air we breathe with toxins emitted by diesel vehicles. These toxins increase respiratory illnesses like asthma and speed up the rate of climate change. VW is on the hook for $14.7 billion dollars for putting profits over people. Governors have the opportunity to reinvest the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust in our communities, especially low-income and communities of color where students and families are most at risk of breathing dirty air and disproportionately carry the burden of pollution. By using these funds to take dirty diesel buses off our roads and replace them with clean electric buses we can protect our most vulnerable. Governors decide how the VW settlement funds are invested and states can use up to $2.7 billion for electric school buses.
Clean Buses for Healthy Niños asks that governors reinvest the VW dollars in our communities and school districts. The League movement is especially focused on bringing these dollars to low-income and communities of color where students and families are most at risk of breathing dirty air and disproportionately carry the burden of pollution. That way, our states can take dirty diesel buses off our roads and replace them with clean electric buses, protecting our most vulnerable populations.
These buses are:
Cleaner: Switching a vehicle from diesel to electric power can reduce a vehicle’s CO2 emissions by 71%.
Cheaper to Run: Switching from a diesel bus to an electric bus can reduce the fueling costs of a vehicle by over 40%.
Great Performance: Electric buses have proven their performance in all types of terrain and weather.
Safe: Electric school buses are built and tested by the same standards as any other school bus on the roads
The Connecticut League of Environmental Voters Education Fund is dedicated to strengthening Connecticut's environmental movement through education, developing resources on key issues, and organizing networks of environmental groups to protect our natural resources.