Sustainability is up to the Oberlin public now

To the editor:

We will soon begin circulating petitions to put on the ballot in the next general election a referendum on amending the ordinance establishing a Sustainable Reserve Program for the city of Oberlin.

The original intent when that ordinance was passed in 2007 was for all the revenues from the sale of Renewable Energy Certificates to be deposited in the Sustainable Reserve Fund for that program. The amended ordinance will make sure that this original intent is fulfilled. We are convinced that now, more than ever, the city has both the opportunity and the obligation to use the RECs money wisely and well. We have a new city manager and will soon have a new Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System director, and in November we will be electing new members to city council.

The city has just received the results of a study showing the urgent need to upgrade our aging housing stock. We are sure that programs, many of which have already been proposed by members of the public, can be fashioned to benefit most of all our low and moderate income residents by substantially reducing their utility costs and improving their property. The new administration in Washington has announced its opposition to the Paris Climate Action Plan, so we can expect no help from the federal government in achieving the goals of our own city of Oberlin Climate Action Plan. We will need to fund any sustainability efforts by ourselves.

Fortunately, we have the money to make a difference, both for our economy and for the environment. We urge the residents of Oberlin to add their signatures to these petitions. Help to assure the proper use of the RECs money to benefit the whole community for the long-term!

Elizabeth J. Meadows

Charles Peterson