Letter to the Editor: Alexandria should commit to renewable energy

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On Dec. 7, more than 70 Alexandrians gathered with energy experts, city officials and others to discuss the future of our city’s energy supply. The opinions expressed during the Ready for 100 Renewable Energy Community Forum reflected both a clear desire for Alexandria to commit to a goal of sourcing 100 percent of our energy needs from renewable sources, and an expression that such a goal is in fact feasible, if only we have the political will to do so.

Congressman Don Beyer (VA-8) kicked off the evening and expressed that given the abandonment of climate change work at the federal level, it is incumbent upon states and municipalities to act as leaders and take up the banner of change. Already 59 cities and counties around the country have committed to transforming their energy systems to 100 percent renewable energy or have already done so.

Alexandria can and should join that effort. The expert panelists laid out opportunities for how we can achieve greater renewable energy in Alexandria right now.

Praveen Kathpal, vice chair of the city’s Environmental Policy Commission, made the point by committing to a 100 percent renewable energy goal, they will provide a clear lens to guide city decisions that will impact our city’s energy use in the long-term.

Just as President John Kennedy did not hesitate to commit us to the moon shot simply because we were not sure how to get there, city council should not hesitate to commit us to 100 percent renewable energy only because the path is uncertain.

There are concrete steps we can take now and the path will only continue to get clearer. The effort will itself provide many benefits: job creation, energy efficiency improvements, health improvements, energy security and more.

For more information, please contact Alice Redhead, the local Sierra Club organizer working on the Ready for 100 Campaign, at alice.redhead@sierraclub.org.

-Jerry Casagrande, Alexandria

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