Well, class, did y’all have swell Summer School session? Can you believe this is our last class? I’m a bit sad.
But it’s time: Our state senators are back in Lansing, thinking on how they’re gonna vote on those energy bills, SB 437 & 438. Now that you’re schooled up on clean energy, it’s really important—even more important than winning Saturday’s homecoming game—that you school your senator on why to either improve those bad bills or just kill ‘em. Senators need to see how great renewables, efficiency, and rooftop solar are for everyone except….except who, Suzie?
Right! Fossil fuel companies. Poor guys. Fortunately, Joe Cocker has a song just for them.
If you stayed awake in class, you know as much about those bills as many senators do. I mean, they have two million things to keep track of, including all the lobbying and slick TV ads our monopoly utilities are throwing at anyone who still watches TV.
Our senators need our help, like, right now. The minute Senator Nofs—who’s put out six versions of his bills trying to scrape together enough support to pass them—thinks he’s got a majority, he’ll have a floor vote quicker than you can go down the hall and start “Smokin’ in the Boys Room.” So—it’s time for the…
State Senators Clean Energy Summer School FINAL EXAM!
Stop groaning or I’ll knock ten points off your score! I’m making it easy for y’all: It’s open book, for gosh sakes, and you have the whole period. So go to your lockers and fetch our complete summer semester syllabus, which clicks through to all of the links we’ve shared.
OK, this is an essay test—you must write a letter to your senator about any of these topics:
1.) Why we must have renewable energy standards, not just goals—discuss how this affects at least two of these factors: jobs, electric prices, Michigan manufacturers, air and water pollution.
2.) Why we must have energy efficiency standards, not just goals—discuss how this affects at least two of these factors: fuel, utility, and customer costs; local economies, jobs, or air quality.
3.) Why we must maintain or expand net metering for solar power—discuss how this affects at least two of these factors: the grid, business profitability, family budgets, air quality, local jobs.
Hint: Before you start, figure out who your senator actually is here.
FOR FULL CREDIT: Email your letter to your lawmaker.
FOR EXTRA CREDIT: Print out some of the backup notes and research, along with your letter, and snail mail the whole kit and caboodle.
FOR A GUARANTEED ‘A’: Take your copy home, trim it down to 500 words, make it into a Letter to the Editor, and send it to your local paper—the more local the better.
Don’t put this off until after homecoming. I know you’re busy with the class float, but once the semester gets going you’ll get busy—and Lansing will figure you’re not paying attention. You know Little Joey, our quarterback will be keeping his eye on that football to try and win big for us that night—and that’s what you should be doing about energy, too.
Now I have to leave early, to take my accreditation test. You guys stay here and help each other with your essays. Remember—it’s not the grade that counts—it’s what you do with what you know.
I sure enjoyed these classes—but where did our summer go?
Jim Dulzo is the Groundwork Center’s senior energy policy specialist. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past Summer School Lessons: