A global environmental group says California needs to increase its use of renewable energy to address its current energy crisis.
SANTA MONICA, California – Global Green USA is calling on local governments, businesses and citizens to join them in advocating a long-term vision that will provide a blueprint for creating a sustainable energy future for California. The measures include “tremendously increasing use of distributed renewable power generation sources (from solar photovoltaic panels and hydrogen fuel cells) that can provide the reliability needed for this high-tech economy, and “putting the dollars for efficiency programs closer to the ground where they are needed most, using a bottom up approach to design incentives that are most needed.” .. The organization, which is the U.S. affiliate of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Green Cross International, is the only national U.S. environmental group with its headquarters in Los Angeles. There are affiliate organizations in 26 countries; Green Cross International is based in Geneva, Switzerland. “We need a diverse, sensible vision for California’s energy policy that incorporates both financial and environmental considerations,” says executive director Matt Petersen. “A sustainable energy future includes a real investment in renewable energy and a tremendous increase in energy efficiency through extensive public education and outreach.” Governor Gray Davis is considering several proposals to address the energy situation but, regardless of the final solution, California’s energy policy must provide the reliability the digital economy needs while not jeopardizing the environment. One of the “intriguing” proposals that prompted support from the group was Treasurer Phil Angiledes’s proposed public power authority. “The framework and actions we have proposed would help protect California’s economy from the volatility of energy prices and financial losses suffered by businesses due to power outages,” says Petersen. “At the same time, this strategy will allow California to take seriously its role, as the sixth largest economy in the world, in stemming climate change, preventing air pollution, and ensuring protection of public health.” “Now is the time for communities throughout California to beat back the electricity profiteers and take greater control of our energy destiny,” says Craig Perkins of Santa Monica. “We can accomplish this through simple, cost-effective and locally run energy efficiency programs that benefit small customers.” “We must aggressively implement distributed generation projects using renewable energy technologies and operating for the benefit of end users, not mega utilities,” he adds. “We agree with Global Green USA that we need a new coalition of voices to call for this blueprint.” The group’s Go Green Power Campaign was one of the first green power public education campaigns in the U.S. and was instrumental in convincing the cities of Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Chula Vista and others to purchase green power.