Representation of the geographic diversity of each state is important. Often, too much emphasis is paid to targeting clean energy in urban areas, ignoring rural and Indigenous communities that are most in need of renewable energy.
Energy & Agricultural: There is more to be explored in the connection between energy and agricultural policies, particularly if biofuels should not be included as renewable. Energy policies need to support families to produce sustainable agriculture, while at the same time promoting equitable energy policies that lead to air quality improvements and emissions reductions.
In many rural and Indigenous contexts, advocates designing 100% regenerative policies must consider:
In urban contexts, advocates should include the following in the development of 100% regenerative policies:
- A variety of clean energy options to achieve the 100% goal including energy efficiency, rooftop solar, solar thermal, and community solar.
- Opportunities for renters to be prioritized and receive economic benefits in energy efficiency and local renewable energy.
- Prevent displacement with any transit-oriented development elements.
- The challenge of utility scale renewable energy being sited far from local communities that limits access to renewable energy jobs and to local public health improvements.
- When urban areas pass energy policies, ensure the rest of the state or region is not preempted. There are reports of cases where policies in urban areas preempt policies and financing in rural areas of the state.
Consider cost of living and what it means to be “low-income.” The cost of living is the amount of money needed to sustain a certain standard of living by affording basic expenses such as housing, food, taxes, and healthcare. “Agencies calculate the cost of living by finding prices for a representative sample of goods and services, then take into account how much of a person’s budget would be consumed by the item in a year.” As improvements are made to buildings and renewable energy is constructed, advocates must factor in the potential rise in cost of living and institute policies to prevent displacement of BIPOC and frontline communities.
Example of green Tribal legislation: The Navajo Nation became the first Native American tribe to pass green jobs legislation intended to grow thousands of jobs in ways that follow the Navajo traditions of respecting the Earth... The legislation defines “green businesses” as businesses and industries that contribute to the economy with little or no generation of greenhouse gases and/or can counteract the negative effects of greenhouse gases...The commission also expects to fund weavers’ co-operatives and wool mills, since shepherding and weaving wool are part of traditional Navajo culture. Energy will be a focus in the form of weatherization, energy efficiency and small-scale solar and wind projects within homes and communities.