Providing sustainable and democratic energy to our communities is possible, and is already taking place across the U.S. Privately owned fossil fuel energy companies centralize decision making and investment power, charging unaffordably high fuel and electric prices to cover the buildout of new fossil fuel infrastructure while preventing the construction of more resilient systems. Their centralized control has allowed dirty energy plants to be placed disproportionately in communities of color where people have the least power to resist. As we transition away from fossil fuels, the centralized and profit-oriented structure of existing energy systems must be addressed.
Energy democracy means allowing communities to take control over their own energy resources and make decisions about pricing as well as infrastructure investments. We are interested in solutions that move away from investor-owned utilities and towards policies that make renewable energy and energy efficiency technology affordable for low-income families while building local economies and creating 21st-century jobs. The Green New Deal framework is an opportunity to move towards energy efficiency, increasing energy access, investing heavily in renewables, and pursuing democratic control over our energy systems.