When I first heard about Jay Inslee’s Climate Mission agenda, I was excited. The idea that someone would run for president on a bold climate agenda was unthinkable just two years ago. Fast forward to today, and we have Evergreen Action working every day to turn that agenda into policy.
When I was asked to join Evergreen’s advisory board, I didn’t hesitate. I was thrilled to be part of this movement for climate action. I’ve been working on climate change issues for the past 15 years. Currently, I’m a political science professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where my research and teaching focuses on energy, climate, and environmental politics. My work revolves around power — both the energy our world runs on and the people and corporations who control it.
We’re seeing the way that power can corrupt our institutions right now in Ohio. Just last week, the FBI arrested the state’s Speaker of the House, Rep. Larry Householder, for allegedly accepting more than $60 million in bribes from the utility companies FirstEnergy and AEP. This included half a million dollars that personally benefited Rep. Householder — paying for back taxes on his vacation home, his legal bills, and his reelection. What’s more, FirstEnergy flew him to Trump’s inauguration on their corporate jet.
In return for these personal favors, the Speaker passed a bill that gutted the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards while bailing out three coal plants. Unfortunately, this kind of corruption is not an aberration for the electric utility industry. As I document in my book, Short Circuiting Policy, across the country, most private utilities are resisting the clean energy transition, and many are buying off politicians with campaign contributions to do it.
But, despite the millions of dollars these utilities are using to try to corrupt our democracy, we the people have the power. And we must speak up to our present and future leaders to keep our clean energy transition on track.
If you believe the power of the people is greater than the power of the corrupt fossil fuel and utility industries, add your name today to tell Democratic candidates, including Joe Biden, that climate must be a top priority in their campaigns and once they are elected.
The team at Evergreen has crafted a detailed, substantive plan that envisions a better future for all of us. The Evergreen Action Plan calls for a bold national 100% Clean Electricity Standard by 2035.
Thanks to the investment of time and effort from activists like you, Joe Biden listened. He has incorporated many Evergreen policies into his new climate plan, including major new investments in a clean energy-led economic recovery and a robust Clean Electricity Standard for utilities. When I heard about these commitments, I felt hope in a way I haven’t for years. We can clean up our electricity system and stop the utilities from continuing to promote dirty energy.
I’m thrilled about this plan. Now, I want to see it prioritized.
If he’s elected, Joe Biden can’t let climate change fall to the bottom of a long to-do list. Sign on now and make sure he knows we need to make this a priority — because, as Jay Inslee has said, if it’s not job #1, it won’t get done.
Thanks so much for everything you’re doing. Stay in the climate fight!
Professor Leah Stokes
Author, Short Circuiting Policy
Evergreen Advisory Board Member