Take your action to the next level
Ready to raise your voice and move forward policies that will accelerate our country’s transition to a safer, healthier, more equitable clean energy future? We’ve highlighted important issues—and some effective organizations that are addressing them—for you to get behind.
We’ve organized the issues into three buckets: 1) federal policies—which have the broadest reach and impact, 2) state/regional policies—which directly impact how you as a consumer interact with energy, and 3) local policies—where you have the most leverage as a community member. Let’s get to work.
Price on carbon
The #PutAPriceOnIt campaign lays out this important concept clearly: “If we make carbon pollution expensive, we’ll get less of it. Less carbon pollution means less climate change. Put another way, a price on carbon makes fossil fuels like coal and oil more expensive. And when that happens people switch to cheaper forms of energy like wind and solar.” This is the simple concept behind a variety of terms and policies you may have heard of, including “carbon tax,” “carbon fee and dividend,” “pollution tax,” and others.
The #PutAPriceOnIt campaign is a great place to start learning more, and Citizens Climate Lobby has a nationwide network of everyday people effectively advocating their legislators to make this policy happen. Bottom line: both scientists and economists agree this is a critical step to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the progress of clean energy.
Tax credit for electric vehicles
For the past few years, the federal government has been offering a tax credit for people who purchase electric vehicles. This incentive has helped drive the adoption of a technology that’s a crucial part of our path to 100% clean energy. Legislation is now on the table to extend this EV tax credit for more Americans; Plug In America is the place to go to learn more and take advocacy action.
Green New Deal
Chances are, you’ve heard about this resolution that’s been widely discussed in Washington and around the country. What exactly is the Green New Deal? The nonprofit New Consensus, author of the resolution, summarizes it well: “The Green New Deal will be the most ambitious and transformative national project taken on since Franklin Roosevelt’s original New Deal and World War II economic mobilizations. The Green New Deal includes investments not only in communities and public infrastructure, but also in private industry to enable a sweeping transformation of our entire economy…”
The Sunrise Movement is targeted at youth but has supporters of all ages, and is one of the most effective organizations building support for the Green New Deal.
A number of state policies exist that, together, shape your ability to enjoy the benefits of solar on your rooftop. Examples include tax credits, net metering, power purchase agreements, fixed fees, and more. Solar United Neighbors is working on the ground in 11 states across the country, and their website is a great place to start learning about and advocating for these issues.
Many U.S. energy consumers—including those who rent, have shaded or unsuitable roofs, or live and work in apartments or office buildings—face physical barriers to going solar through the traditional rooftop model. Many consumers also lack financing options for rooftop solar. Vote Solar and GRID Alternatives support community solar programs and state-level policies that remove those barriers and increase access to solar.
The Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign is working to ensure that we all benefit from a 21st-century clean transportation system with access to cars, trucks, and buses that rely on little-to-no oil as well as to clean public transit and other local clean transportation solutions.
100% clean energy commitments
More than 100 U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and San Diego, have adopted ambitious 100% clean energy goals. For most cities and counties, this is an important first step that acts as a mandate to spur meaningful clean energy action. Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign has led the way for years, and is an effective place to get equipped.
Electric school buses
Replacing diesel school buses with electric models represents a huge opportunity to improve children’s health, boost community air quality, and help tackle emissions from the transportation sector—the biggest source of emissions in the U.S. Chispa’s CleanRide4Kids campaign is organizing people in communities around the country to advocate for this important solution.
Solar on K–12 schools
Now is the time for schools to make the switch to solar. Falling costs and new financing methods are enabling school districts to reap significant benefits for their schools, students, and surrounding communities. That’s why solar capacity on U.S. K–12 schools has grown more than 100x over the past decade. Generation180’s Solar Schools program can equip you to be an informed, effective advocate for solar in your school community.
City & county carbon fee & dividend endorsements
Your local government can follow the example of cities and counties across the country that have approved official resolutions in support of a price on carbon (see above). Citizens Climate Lobby continues to play a leading role in organizing this effort.