Just three hours into Trump’s new presidency on the afternoon of January 20, Action Fellow Lindsay Morgenstein and North Carolina Program Manager, Briana Steele, headed to the office of their State Representative, Congressman David Price. Lindsay and Briana were joined by three members of the local 350.org chapter, 350 Triangle. Together, they met with one of Congressman Price’s staffers to discuss North Carolina’s energy policy and to urge Congressman Price to encourage senators to oppose the nomination of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State and Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator.
If we truly hope to make change, we have to communicate what we support.
—ACE Action Fellow Lindsay Morgenstein
Renewable energy initiatives have been slow to materialize in North Carolina, thanks in part to a coordinated offensive by the fossil fuel industry giants, like Duke Energy, to put up roadblocks to wind and solar development, particularly third-party solar financing. Congressman Price is supportive of renewable energy and limiting carbon dioxide emissions, but the assembled group was there to remind his office why such issues are so critical. The meeting lasted over an hour and Lindsay and the group outlined their positions for the staffer.
The issues discussed included:
- Increasing renewable energy development in North Carolina
- Requiring a higher percentage of Duke Energy’s power come from renewable sources by 2030
- Increasing energy efficiency and public transit options in North Carolina
- Beginning North Carolina Climate Solutions Project and resolutions across the state
- Rejecting fracking and pipelines in the state
- Allowing third party contractors to install renewables, like solar panels, in North Carolina
- Keeping the United States’ climate agreements with other nations
Reflecting on the day, Lindsay said “I learned that the most important thing we can do is to let our elected officials hear our voices. If we truly hope to make change, we have to communicate what we support. Otherwise, we can't expect our Representatives to make decisions we agree with.”
At the end of the meeting, the group also voiced gratitude for Congressman Price’s support for recent local wins, including the passage of the Wake County Transit Tax to improve bus and rail transit infrastructure in Wake County.
The Trump Administration has wasted no time in aligning with the oil and gas industry. Now, more than ever, it is vital that our elected officials in North Carolina and across the country be held accountable to represent our needs and push forward with renewable energy developments that benefit all Americans.