PUSHin’ the Envelope – Energy Democracy Forum Thursday at Downtown Library

By Lonnie Barlow, Organizer, PUSH Buffalo

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As we reach a climax in our society at which sustainability or going green becomes more about survival and less a fad, a few things become clear – if we don’t get control over critically needed resources like water, food, shelter, and energy, we’re setting ourselves and future generations up for a disaster.  

These are the four resources that have been vital for the survival of the human race throughout recorded history. Take away any one of these resources from us for an extended period of time, and we’re going to see what another stone age looks like.

Because we’ve had some success with energy fairness, energy justice, and energy democracy – we’ve been doing our part to shed some sunlight and blow wind to clear the debris over energy proceedings that have been happening in New York State (NYS) unbeknownst to many people. The NYS Public Service Commission – also known as the New York State Department of Public Service – is the body in NYS charged with making decisions on energy use in the state. They’re coming to Buffalo tomorrow – Thursday, January 29th, 2015 – to talk to you, the public.

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The Reforming the Energy Vison (REV) proceedings are happening, and many of you don’t even know about it! This is a process where NYS residents can add their voice to the energy question. Our take is that in order to “Reform the Energy Vision,” we’re going to have to make the way for cheaper, cleaner, alternative sources of energy – sources of energy other than gas and electric.

If you remember the forum we hosted a few years back when we took National Fuel Gas (local gas company in Buffalo) to task over their intention to spend the public’s weatherization money as they wished – on unrelated things such as commercials and sporting events – we aren’t scared to take our energy future into our own hands.

This time, we want the message to be loud and clear – we need to look at cheaper and healthier ways of generating energy.

Think we don’t need control over our energy future? Better think again. We keep hearing them say, “gas prices are out of control.” Gas is high, electricity is high – the prices for many of our traditional sources of energy are high. Energy Democracy takes many forms.

So, “Can you feel it?” The power is in our hands – Energy Democracy is in our hands. It’s right there, so why not just grab it? We’re excited about the community forum this Thursday, January 29th – that’s tomorrow. The people who make decisions on energy use in New York State will be in Buffalo and it’s time to make solar energyclean energywind energy, and renewable energy a widespread reality in New York.

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