ENERGY SOURCES AND POLLUTION MITIGATION
One in three people struggle to breathe clean air. Nearly 100 million people in the U.S. live in a community with poor air quality, disproportionately impacting Black and Brown people. Indigenous Peoples have suffered negative health impacts from uranium mining. Poor rural white communities have lost access to healthy water and farming due to fracking and oil drilling. Instead of ending these practices, mainstream advocates, investors, and policymakers seek to commodify carbon and fossil fuels at the expense of frontline communities.. These solutions fail to address the impacts of pollution, environmental racism, or the extractive economy. A Regenerative Economy rejects these solutions and embraces a more holistic, renewable, ecologically just energy system from beginning to end.
This is one of the Policy Planks of the United Frontline Table’s toolkit A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy. The policy planks are one of three tools in the kit, together with series of Strategy Questions and the Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform Framework. Make sure the check out the section on How to Use This Resource to Enhance Your Work and the Working Definitions.
Policy Stances and Priorities
No More Extractive Market-Based Mechanisms
No cap and trade, carbon markets, loopholes, or subsidies that allow the fossil fuel industry to manipulate and adversely impact communities in other parts of the world. Additionally, industry should not be permitted to operate without cutting emissions at the source.
No More False Solutions
Ban fracking in all states by 2021. End exportation of fossil fuels. Demand that natural gas, oil, and coal are no longer acceptable energy sources by 2030. Phase out nuclear energy by 2030 and end uranium mining and processing. End waste-to-energy incineration plants.
Geoengineering refers to a set of proposed technologies to intervene in and alter Earth systems on a mega-sale in order to manipulate the climate without lowering fossil fuel extraction. It also applies to carbon sequestration techniques currently in practice. No solar radiation or cloud brightening experiments. No ocean iron fertilization. No large-scale biomass and biofuels activities, carbon capture and sequestration, or other geoengineering techno-fixes.
No More Unjust and Privatized Renewable Energy Expansion
Renewable energy creation must not replicate ecological devastation and harms of environmental racism or worker injustice. Clean energy systems must include reparative opportunities for impacted communities to participate in and benefit from them, while focusing on ecologically just energy developments. For example, large scale hydro-electric dams should not be classified as clean, renewable energy; wind and solar projects should prioritize ecological land use and not exacerbate global harm; and tidal power should function in ways that do not disrupt the ocean’s ecosystem.
No More Commodification of the Energy Commons
Recognize energy production, generation, and electric utility as a common-held right and not as a privately-owned commodity that is bought and sold for profit, creating economic or health burdens on people and nature that benefit the few.
Build with “Closed-Circuit” Renewables
Prioritize renewable energy production that is environmentally-sound and ethically-sourced from development to deployment.
Create Zero-Waste Systems
Prioritize zero-waste systems, including compost, reuse and recycling to avoid landfill development and waste-to-energy projects. Prioritize resources for publicly-owned and worker cooperative zero-waste companies.
Advance a Renewable Energy Economy
Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground. 100% publicly-owned and democratically-controlled renewable energy by 2030.