Power to the people: A time to begin | SierraSun.com

Power to the people: A time to begin

Now that the Truckee Donner Public Utility District coal contract debate is finished, it’s time to begin.

As was repeated over and over again by board members and those who spoke at the last several meetings, the debate over the nixed 50-year proposal doesn’t have to pit people with opposing viewpoints against one another. If anything, this whole process was a learning opportunity.

How many of us actually knew where our electricity came from before this discussion?

One recurring sentiment from those in favor of the contract and those against was that nobody is in love with the fact that our community already uses a great deal of power that is generated by burning coal.

And whether or not the contract was approved, that inconvenient reality will continue well into the foreseeable future.

Unless, of course, all those people who insisted the board reject the deal keep that passion alive by urging the district to take action on as many of the ideas floated in the proceedings as possible.

Be it an electric advisory group made up of ratepayers that fleshes out every power possibility ” from the conventional to the unconventional; a revamped and well-funded conservation program; and a check-box on bills allowing customers to put their money where their mouths were over the last several weeks.

District staff and a couple of board members thought going the 50-year coal route was the best direction. We, and many of you reading this, thought otherwise and, ultimately, got our way.

But what now? Those with the green vision and renewable knowledge must remain engaged so when district staff head to the open market, they know not to return with lumps of coal, at least not for 50 years.

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