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November 4, 2020

Local Elections are Changing America’s Energy Mix, One City at a Time

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Local races can go a long way toward changing how Americans get their electricity. After Election Day, both the city of Columbus, Ohio, and township of East Brunswick, New Jersey, are projected to pass measures that allow their local governments, instead of utilities, to decide where residents’ power comes from.

These “community choice” programs are boosting the growth of cheap renewable energy and are already prying loose investor-owned utilities’ tight grip on energy markets in places like California, reports The Verge.

“We’ve seen a big grassroots push for state and national action on climate. In the meantime, cities and communities have sought out creative ways to make change from the ground up where possible,” Kate Konschnik, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, told The Verge. “Cities are also stepping up to demand cleaner and more locally sourced electricity, for themselves and for their residents.”