Celebrating Solar Leaders for Black History Month + States to watch for solar progress
In honor of Black History Month, we’re celebrating African American leaders and success stories in the fight to increase access to healthy, affordable, job-creating solar power, starting with the NAACP’s leadership on climate justice.
Read on for more, plus details of our 2019 Equinox celebration and highlights from our work with Vote Solar members like you to expand solar opportunity in New Mexico, South Carolina, Maryland, and New Jersey. We’ll keep you posted on these states and more as we build a solar nation.
Black History Month: Spotlight on Climate Justice at the NAACP
This January, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of our Solar Equity Initiative partnership with NAACP. The NAACP’s Environmental & Climate Justice program is shifting the narrative around renewable energy and energy justice with powerful resources to build resilient communities:
- The Just Energy Policies and Practices Action Toolkit is helping to organize the NAACP’s half a million members to develop energy justice plans and organize in their communities to phase out fossil fuels and bring in clean energy like wind and solar.
- In the Eye of the Storm is a new People’s Guide to disaster justice, advancing equitable disaster policy and building leadership capacity for disaster response in frontline communities most impacted by fossil fuels and climate change.
In honor of Black History Month, throughout February we’ll highlight African American leaders, organizations, and success stories in the fight to increase access to solar. Follow @ECJP_NAACP to keep updated on climate leadership at the NAACP. And follow us on Twitter for more #BlackHistoryMonth highlights and solar stories.
The groundhog has predicted an early spring, and we can’t wait to celebrate. You’re invited to join our annual tradition of a solar soiree on the spring equinox. When the forces of light overcome the dark, we’ll turn The Chapel in San Francisco into one huge party. We hope you’ll join us this year on March 28 to support solar progress.
Can’t make it to the party? You can always support our work with an online donation. Contributions at any level are hugely appreciated.
States Taking the Lead on Clean Energy
All across the country, states are leading the transition to clean energy. And with your help, we’re gearing up to make major solar progress in 2019. Check out these states to watch:
- New Mexico – Pictured above! Last week our New Mexico lead Art Terrazas joined local veterans, grandmothers, children, tribal leaders, nature lovers and many others who all want to see more solar powering their communities to speak up for clean energy at the capitol in Santa Fe. We’re excited to work with newly-elected Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (who just joined the US Climate Alliance) and lawmakers to increase the state’s renewable energy target to 50% by 2030, and 80% by 2040, making the state a national leader in renewable energy. We are also excited to work with the Governor and the legislature to pass a community solar bill to make an equitable, affordable clean energy vision a reality for New Mexico.
- South Carolina – It’s exciting to see lawmakers from both parties working across the aisle to create a better energy future for all South Carolinians in the first 100 days of 2019 — starting by expanding the soon-to-expire net metering program and keeping the way clear for customers to go solar on their own rooftops. Our recent poll shows that South Carolinians are nearly unanimous (95%) in their support for giving families and businesses the choice to go solar to reduce reliance on their utility. That’s why we’re part of a broad coalition urging legislators to pass energy freedom bills that will keep net metering strong, lower costs, create jobs, and increase energy independence.
- Maryland – Maryland is all in for expanding its clean energy economy with a new bill that will double the amount of clean electricity powering the state to 50% by 2030. This will help Maryland reach nearly 20,000 renewable energy jobs, and turn the tide on the public health crisis caused by fossil fuel pollution. We’re proud to be part of a massive coalition of over 600 organizations working with clean energy champions in the legislature to speed Maryland’s clean energy transition.
- New Jersey – Every year we score major successes at the state level. So what happens after an amazing bill gets passed? Last year we worked with the legislature and Governor to create a new community solar pilot program for the Garden State. Now the Board of Public Utilities has just approved rules clear the way for community solar installations, which will provide bill savings and power 20,000-30,000 homes and other customers. This year, we continue to work for strong provisions and incentives to expand solar access to thousands of low-income New Jersey residents.
All that plus exciting solar plans afoot in California, Florida, Michigan, New York and more. Remember, you make the difference — last year, 10,000 of you took action! We’ll keep you updated on solar progress across the U.S.