Guest: Al Weinrub, author of "Community Power: Decentralized Renewable Energy in California"
Tonight on Political Analysis, Sandy LeonVest in conversation with energy democracy advocate and author Al Weinrub, whose groundbreaking book, "Community Power: Decentralized Renewable Energy in California" lays out in a concise and accessible way, the ways in which communities can begin NOW to implement local generation of renewables. Al Weinrub's book is an excellent resource for anyone seeking to understand not only why, in an era of accelerated climate change, we need locally-generated renewable power, but exactly how we can begin building it.
Al and Sandy also discuss the need for a REAL clean energy movement, as opposed to one that tweaks the 20th century energy paradigm, rather than rebuilding a 21st century energy model from the ground up. To illustrate this, they discus the US "Community Choice Aggregation" (CCA) movement, which, for the most part, is pursuing what's known as the "procurement" (or corporate-owned) energy model. This model accomplishes its "clean energy goals" with "Renewable Energy Credits" and "clean power" generation far away from the point of use. They discuss how this approach to CCA serves only to greenwash the corporate agenda, while ignoring the needs of the communities CCA is supposed to serve. As an example, they talk about Marin County, California, where its new CCA (Marin Clean Energy) broke away from one mega-utility (PG&E) only to procure its energy from a subsidiary of mega-polluting multinational oil company Shell Oil (Shell Energy North America).