For decades, promoters of for-profit utility interests have been calling me NIMBY, as in: Not In My Back Yard. The labeling evades the fact that I’m really a RIMBY. I welcome alternative power sources like solar Right In My Back Yard, and on my roof, and on my neighbor’s properties too. I like my energy use right-sized and close to where it is needed. Due to a near scrape with a transmission building company that scoops up local economies like disposables, I fully appreciate the value of not imposing “need” on others that I can take care of, myself. Its a lot more interesting, fun and beautiful,.. for everyone.
My local library recently went solar with back up batteries and is a perfect example of RIMBY. Our library is now a place to expand your mind and an example of how to get to zero carbon, save everyone money, and become a place for the community to meet during natural disasters. Our Town Hall went solar too, freeing up tax dollars for pressing needs and slashing CO2 with one stroke.
American Transmission Company and its utility owners have tried mightily to convince ratepayers that adding miles and miles of high voltage transmission lines improves electrical service. After 20 years and billions of our dollars, the company has only managed to pile up ratepayer debt and avoid all commitment to reduce CO2 emissions and actually lower costs. Under rules that FERC (utilities) determine, all transmission lines must carry the lowest cost power. The end result speaks for itself: the electrical power midwest outlets averages 70% fossil fuel generation and 8% power from renewables. How many billions does a 1% increase in renewable energy cost under control of for profit utilities? How many houses can go solar or use efficiencies to cut their use in half for the same billions?
What is the most cost effective means to reduce CO2 emissions? Experts generally agree that becoming more and more efficient is the essential, first step. Our demand for power is already flat. As we prioritize efficiencies we also reduce the amount of local, renewable power required. This approach relies on right-sizing our infrastructure and bringing achievement to our homes and closer to our homes.
Affordability, environmental responsibility and peaceful cohabitation are not achieved the ATC way– by reaching further and further into more and more communities, causing dispute and permanent disruption.
So, if you are tired of being labeled NIMBY, consider the role of RIMBY. It stands to make a beautiful difference.