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CCC Weekly Update 2/16 -- Rage Against the Utilities

Dear climate ragers,

A recent study looked at the correlation between various forms of eco-emotions and likelihood of taking action -- and found that eco-anger was strongly connected with taking action! "We found that experiencing eco-anger predicted better mental health outcomes, as well as greater engagement in pro-climate activism and personal behaviours," the researchers wrote.

I found this fascinating. I’ve never been a very angry person -- it’s just not a big part of my emotional palette -- but I certainly feel my share of righteous indignation at the many bad actors that continue to stand in the way of climate action. Perhaps we all should lean a little more into climate anger as an energetic fuel source, work to channel it productively. Speaking of:

What the F%#$, Dominion?

For the second time in as many years, Dominion is trying to change solar pricing in a way that would demolish the industry in the Lowcountry -- and this time, they’re coming after rooftop solar. In short, their proposal would move from net metering to a hybrid instantaneous netting system, thus lowering payouts to solar power producers, and add two new fees, one fixed fee and one proportional to the size of your solar system. And there’s no grandfathering -- current solar customers would get forced onto this plan by 2025, even if you budgeted and planned for the current system.

When the utilities did this in Nevada in 2015, they killed the solar industry overnight, and it took the legislature’s intervention to lure some of the solar companies back. We can’t let that happen here. Dominion gets the privilege of having a monopoly in our region, and in return, they’re putting forward a proposal that isn’t just unfriendly towards rooftop solar -- it’s downright bloodthirsty.

I see two ways to respond: speaking out in public forums about how terrible this proposal is, and reaching out to the key decision makers directly. CCC member Libby Smith had a great op-ed run in the Post & Courier last weekend criticizing the proposal, and I encourage y’all to write your own letters to the editor as well as signing this opposition letter from CVSC and sharing it on social media.

As for the decision makers: word on the street is that the Office of Regulatory Staff is leaning towards taking Dominion’s side on this. We need them intervening to oppose the proposal. They have a phone number you can call if you agree. And the Public Service Commission, the regulatory body that will ultimately make the call on accepting or denying Dominion’s proposal, is holding a public hearing on March 23rd. Mark your calendars! Get eco-angry!

RSAC Meeting

The City of Charleston Resilience and Sustainability Advisory Committee met this past Thursday to discuss, among other things, the progress of the City’s Climate Action Plan. The recording can be viewed here.

And heads up, all -- we'll be brainstorming Earth Day 2021 this coming Wednesday, on 2/24. That should give us enough breathing room to plan something special for this year.



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