Vote is big win for energy advocates

To the editor:

Election day last week was a banner day for Oberlin, city and college. Oberlin’s Sustainable Reserve Program account will now have all RECs net revenue available for funding the city’s Climate Action Plan.

This is another of Citizens for Safe and Sustainable Energy’s significant accomplishments. CSSE drafted, publicized, and achieved passage of a revised Sustainable Reserve Program ordinance by over 70 percent. John Elder and Steve Hammond, leaders of CSSE, carried the torch well into a bright future for Oberlin. CSEE’s first major accomplishment was Oberlin’s Community Bill of Rights and Obligations Ordinance that also passed by over 70 percent of the voters in 2013.

The RECs revenue issue emerged over the past 10 years as a consequence of city council canceling a 50-year contract for coal-based electricity in January 2008 and the subsequent transition to about 90 percent of Oberlin’s electricity being generated from renewable and carbon-neutral sources. OMLPS’s past director, Steve Dupee, accomplished this transition exceedingly well, thereby giving Oberlin close to the lowest-cost electricity in Lorain County and the country.

CSSE’s campaign door-hanger stated, “Make hundreds of houses in the most need significantly more energy efficient to save residents hundreds of dollars annually while also reducing heat-trapping gases, the major goal of the city’s Climate Action Plan.”

The challenge before CSSE, the newly elected city council, and other supporters of investing RECs revenue is to make hundreds of houses significantly more energy efficient as well as identify and accomplish other worthy programs. The funds to accomplish these programs could be matched by foundations and other sources to increase significantly the monies available for supporting Oberlin’s Climate Action Plan while also benefiting the citizens, businesses, and institutions in Oberlin.

Carl McDaniel