Public power is the necessarily ambitious overhaul of our energy system that we need to make heat and electricity affordable for all, and ensure a habitable planet for our futures. We need to build the power of the people to win this fight. So, we invite you to join us for this statewide Public Power 101!
As a part of our local Rochester for Energy Democracy (RED) Campaign, Metro Justice is also a founding member of the Public Power NY Coalition. Via a local referendum, RED aims to replace our local utility -- RG&E -- with a public, not-for-profit, locally owned and democratically governed utilility so that we can drive the green energy transition we need and make energy bills more affordable. With the Public Power NY Coalition, we can bring our vision for public power and energy democracy beyond Rochester and to all of New York State. Together with organizations across the state, we are fighting to pass two public power bills that will bring energy generation, transmission, and all investor-owned distribution utilities under public control. These two bills are the NY Build Public Renewables Act (NYBPRA) and the NY Utility Democracy Act (NYUDA).
Just last month, negligent infrastructure maintenance by de-regulated investor-owned-utilities in Texas caused a deadly and prolonged power outage for nearly 5 million people during a winter storm. These Texas utilities then price gouged the customers who retained electricity and heat in their homes, with some people incurring bills of nearly $5,000 for just 5 days. Here in New York, residential customers owe over $1 Billion in debt to utilities as a result of COVID-induced economic hardship. As these residents face shut-off due to inability to pay through no fault of their own, shareholders of these utilities continue to profit in the millions. These recent crises only further underscore that we cannot rely on for-profit, investor-owned-utilities to reliably take care of our energy needs and keep us safe in crisis.
Winning our public power bills is the first step towards ensuring every New Yorker has a say in what energy we use, the rates we pay, and how the money we pay is used to invest in our communities' needs and build a resilient power grid. This makes possible an affordable green transition for healthy, sustainable, and democratic communities in the long-term while lowering energy bills by eliminating the for-profit aspect to utilities. We will also be able to collaborate with energy workers and labor unions to ensure a just transition.
During this orientation, participants will learn why investor-owned-utilities and other for-profit energy corporations are the problem, why public power is the solution, the details of our two public power bills, and what you can do to get involved! There will also be a Q&A.
Register here: https://wwwpublicpowernyorg/upcoming-events/
Rochester, NY 14607
Google map and directions