Recognize land, water, and air rights

Advocates need to factor in historic discriminatory land use practices and policies and ensure that the 100% renewables policy shifts away from environmental racism in land use.

How do advocates build out a renewable energy system that needs land and water use but is not extractive to public and private resources and pays special attention to Indigenous peoples and frontline communities?

Policy recommendations

A 100% regenerative policy should be a holistic, community-based project that recognizes land, water, and air rights. Here are some actionable steps and policy components that should be included in a 100% regenerative policy:

A “community benefits” framework for renew- able energy development. This framework should ensure impacted communities have input in, benefit from, and are not negatively impacted by the renewable energy development. Benefits should be ecological, healthy, and economic.

An analysis of the best use of public land and the local impacts of proposed projects. For example, is the best use a community solar project, a private project, or something else?

Eminent domain cannot be used for fossil fuel infrastructure. “Developers of both the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline in Virginia and North Carolina and the Penn East gas pipeline in Pennsylvania, for instance, have fought legal actions from landowners who argue that state governments are abusing the power of eminent domain. They claim that instead of using eminent domain to help the broader public, governments are using it to benefit energy companies...The turning of eminent-domain arguments against clean energy infrastructure is one of many ironies of the current political era.”[1]

Ensure community engagement in the renewable development process. Include language that energy developers must collaborate with communities where renewable energy is being sited. See “Demand Quality Outreach and Public Participation” section below.

Examples

References

  1. Murray, William. “Eminent Domain is Hurting Clean Energy.” Greentech, Media, 22 Oct. 2018. Accessed 27 Jul. 2019.