Oberlin has hit energy lottery

To the editor:

Six years ago, I ran for city council to guide and oversee Oberlin’s transition to green sources of energy. Many said it couldn’t be done. We proved the naysayers wrong and today our electricity portfolio is lauded by the White House as an example for the entire country. At prices comparable to fossil fuels, this switch to carbon-neutral sources of power halved our community’s environmental impact.

Now its time to capitalize on our climate-positive commitment. By participating in the emerging climate exchange markets, Oberlin has garnered over $1.5 million in proceeds and will receive at least $800,000 this year alone!

Folks, we hit the lottery. What energy-related benefits can we recognize from these windfall profits? Every homeowner, business, church, and institution in Oberlin should access these funds to reduce their monthly energy bills and improve their comfort. All municipal buildings should be upgraded with improved heating and lighting systems. Switching from natural gas and petroleum to electricity will further reduce our community’s reliance on polluting fossil fuels and save us money. We could even utilize some of the proceeds to fund a public transportation option utilizing electric buses.

In short, this is our reward for doing the right thing. We are helping ourselves and helping Earth in the process. I sincerely appreciate your continued support and ask for your vote on Nov. 3 to keep Oberlin on a climate-positive path.

Bryan Burgess

Member, Oberlin City Council