Community Clean Energy Leaders Wanted!

Image removed.Two budding entrepreneurs, Mark Rembert and Taylor Stuckert, were highlighted on this morning's NPR Morning Edition show for their ambitious plan now underway to re-energize businesses on Main Street in their hometown by way of creating a green enterprise zone called Energize Clinton County.  The cornerstone of their new idea?  Energy efficiency - starting with residential and small business weatherization for the residents and businesses in Clinton county Ohio.  As Mr. Stuckert says,

"What if we come to this understanding that, wow, weatherizing a lot of homes at once creates a quick return, a huge economic stimulus," he says. "Then we don't have to have this debate in Washington about whether or not weatherization is a viable economic stimulus. We'll know."

 So what economic justification underlies energy efficiency as good stimulus?  The New York Times recently ran a piece called, "To Spend or Save, A Trick Question?" by David Leonhardt that explored the paradox known as "the paradox of thrift," coined by the legendary macroeconomist John Maynard Keynes to point out that what was rational for an individual during hard times - saving money - could be ruinous for an entire economy.  The article then explored if there were any kind of "spend now" investments that could effectively tunnel through this conundrum.  Chief among these stimulus ideas was energy efficiency.  Realizing the multiple benefits that efficiency brings to stimulate the economy with spending and jobs, clean the environment, and cut energy bills, the Obama Administration made sure the stimulus package got our energy system on the right track by making efficiency a core component

 In good gesture, even my favorite late night comics put in their two cents on the virtues of energy efficiency.  Stephen Colbert added a little sex appeal to energy efficiency to counter Jon Stewart's  harsh comments that efficiency is boring.  (Maybe Mr. Rembert and Mr. Stuckert could borrow some of Mr. Colbert's act in their own marketing?!) 

I'm inspired by the bold actions of Mr. Rembert and Mr. Stuckert and I hope that many more leaders step forward to take action in their own communities to make energy efficiency work - our Nation needs you! 


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