We have to expand public ownership of the electricity system rapidly and comprehensively. With more than one-quarter of all U.S. households currently experiencing deep energy insecurity, the requirement of private utilities to produce competitive profits for their investments is fundamentally opposed to the equally urgent tasks of resisting energy apartheid and greening our buildings and the power sector.
In current policy and investment strategy, building decarbonization is treated primarily as an appliance swapping project. This micro-approach misses the systemic nature of the reduction of natural gas demand explicit in the swap: drawing down demand is ultimately a natural gas pipeline network decommissioning project.
Utility shutoffs are a blunt tool that benefits utilities more than people. Creating new standards for counting them isn’t necessary and could potentially produce more harm than good. Our time will be better spent to try to ban them permanently and immediately.
Frontline activists in Los Angeles successfully won $333 million for utility debt, proving recovery funds could be used for helping people. President Biden wants to fund the police instead.
The U.S. Census Bureau data about how many Americans might be evicted by the end of the year because of the hardship from COVID-19 is staggering. In order for a Just Recovery to be possible through government stimulus, do we need to reassess our assumptions about what must be done first?