Keene Elected Officials: The time for renewables is now, don't miss the mark.
RESPONDING TO KEENE SENTINEL EDITORIAL:
Mayor Lane, Keene City Councilors and Rhett Lamb, Assistant City Planner and Planning Director (who is also the key liaison to the Conservation Commission and the Energy & Climate Committee, yet still proclaims natural (fracked) gas is a bridge fuel):
If not now, when? THE TIME IS NOW.
You signed on to work in alignment with Paris Climate Agreement goals. You are knowledgeable. The City of Keene, its residents and the surrounding communities look to you to lead on critical issues like energy conservation and climate action. Your leadership has been commendable in the past, but when it comes to innovative energy solutions, why are you floundering?
Across the globe, entire countries are choosing pollution solutions over outdated, filthy fossil fuels that poison our air, water, food and accelerate climate change. They put children at risk now and in the future. Pipelines put communities at risk and reduce property values.
How is it that others can surge forward, creating renewable energy jobs that are safer and more sustainable for union workers and embrace solar, heat pumps, small-scale hydro and other renewables, but a city that prides itself on being a climate leader is willing to hold back, cower in a billowing cloud of carbon combustibles, rather than have the courage to seize an opportunity that will distinguish themselves as true climate leaders?
Envision a city where young people want to work, buy homes and raise their families. They are flocking to well-planned communities with EV charging stations and energy efficient homes that will save them money and be easy on the environment. They don't want to move into cities and towns that didn't have the foresight to plan for them, to anticipate their needs, their health, their safety, their jobs and their future. New Hampshire is losing the youth population at an alarming rate. Why are elected officials not taking them into account at every turn?
I want to raise Keene up as a standard to be met, not a missed mark. Whatever your motivation in choosing gas over renewables, the reasoning behind your justification will not ring true with those of us who know the science, the facts and the possibilities laid out before you. Help us to help you become climate leaders again. We will be the first to praise you, but you have to be willing to join those planning for a livable planet and a hopeful future.
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