Energy discussion needed on eve of election

To the editor:

The town of Oberlin is a leader in the effort to address climate change. We are the first city in the United States to move to a climate positive position with our electrical generation switch from coal to non-fossil fuel sources. We are showing the world that a political unit can accomplish change to retool energy use.

The government put market incentives for clean energy in place in the form of Renewable Energy Credits. City council instructed our government administrators to pursue these credits. The RECs have paid off and it looks that we have a sizable fund parked in a new REC account. This money is a windfall. It did not come from rate-payers’ monthly bills and it is not generated from taxes.

Oberlin has a history of being able to do the hard things. We discuss the issues and hash out solutions. In fairness, it has been said, “If you put five people from Oberlin in a room for five hours, they will come out of that session with seven well reasoned positions, which will require more meetings.” Eventually, however, we do the right thing (after every other course has been exhausted).

Elizabeth Meadows, Sharon Pearson, and Brian Burgess would like to take this windfall REC money and reinvested it in more energy-saving efforts. Let’s have a good old fashioned Oberlin discussion and really hash this out. We have a real chance to grow this money into some real savings for the citizens. But we need to talk it out first — not give it away. Oberlin is a nationally recognized leader in clean energy.

Let’s take the next step and advance to world leader. “Live, learn, and lead” is not just a saying, it is a statement of purpose and a direction to think things through thoroughly and do the right thing.

Most of the new council candidates are for reinvesting the REC money. I encourage you to watch their videos.

Thank you for your time reading this and don’t forget to vote!

Scott Medwid