Environmental protection and the development of clean energy are critical to preserving our natural resources and to building our economy. We need our leaders to focus not only on conservation, but also on innovative ideas to promote sustainable communities and create new, green jobs. It’s time for our legislature to stand up to special interests and look to the future and offer tangible, pragmatic solutions that encourage all Tennesseans to be more mindful of their connection to the environment.
Transportation: It is time to rethink Tennessee’s public transit systems. Public transportation should not be an afterthought, but rather an integrated part of our state’s infrastructure. By improving our public transportation options, we can improve air quality and reduce road congestion while helping Tennesseans cut costs. While we must find creative solutions to our mass transit needs, Tennessee must also continue to lead the way in automobile innovation. As we find new ways to improve air quality and reduce fuel costs while producing long-lasting cars, Tennessee can improve our environment and strengthen our local economy.
PACE program: Implementing a robust Property Assessed Clean Energy program in Tennessee would allow residential and commercial property owners to improve sustainability and increase energy efficiency with the help of low-interest bonds. By giving property owners the ability to opt in to this program, we can immediately create jobs and reduce both our greenhouse gas emissions and energy independence through a low-cost, low-risk process.
Conservation: One of the most critical things our state legislature can do to protect our natural resources is to pass a bill to ban mountaintop removal coal mining. We can no longer allow a practice that employs fewer than 500 Tennesseans to stand in the way of the good of our state. We must have leaders who are committed to bringing this issue to the floor rather than letting it remain bottled up by special interests.
Green Energy Investment: Investing in green energy relieves our dependence on unsustainable and costly traditional forms of energy, puts us on the track toward sustaining our environment, and revitalizes our economy. Now is the time to help our economy and our environment by putting Tennesseans to work on expanding production of solar power, wind power, and advanced biofuels.