Chairman Mendelson: Restore Funds, Deploy Solar, Reduce Carbon, Help People!

By DC Environmental Network

June 9, 2017

DC Environmental Network:

The DC Council FINAL budget vote is just under 4 days away!

It has only been 9 days since we found out Chairman Phil Mendelson swept $7.5 million dollars from funds that are supposed to deploy solar energy, reduce carbon emissions, and help low-income District resident with energy costs.

Tell Chairman Mendelson you want a clean energy future and restoration of the $7.5 million!

Since we received the sad news, many renewable energy advocates, organizations, businesses, and others, have been working hard to get past all the noise during budget season, and communicate with DC Councilmembers and staff about the need to restore these special purpose funds.

We have asked several Council offices to approach the Chairman and see if something can be worked out. We are at the point in the budget process where it takes a bit of coordination and communication to make stuff happen.

We continue to move forward.

Today we delivered a coalition letter to Chairman Mendelson signed by some of the most active District advocates, organizations, associations, and renewable energy businesses. We expressed our opposition to the raid of Renewable Energy Development Funds (REDF) and requested he restore the money.

You can read our coalition letter here.

Signatories included the Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, DC Climate Action, DC Consumer Utility Board, DC Environmental Network, DC Fiscal Policy Institute, DC Public Banking Center, DC Sierra Club, DC Solar United Neighborhoods, DC Statehood Green Party, Foundation Earth, Global Green USA, Green Cross International, GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Institute for Sustainable Power, MDV-SEIA, National Housing Trust, New Columbia Solar, The Ocean Foundation, Washington Parks & People, and Wentworth Green Strategies.

We are also continuing to send emails to the Council expressing our opposition to this sweep of important renewable energy funds. Take action right now! We need your voice.

(I know many of you have not yet sent an email to the Council. Please take a moment to click on one of the links and go to the DC SUN website and make your voice heard.)

What we, and all global citizens, do locally in response to President Trump’s inaction on climate change, may be the most essential element to the success, and survival of our planet.

I would hate to wake up the day after the Council vote knowing we had given up important resources needed to grow the District’s clean energy future and help some of our neighbors who need assistance.

Hopefully a commitment to taking the necessary action to combat climate change will prevail.

Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

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