As part of our mission, Steps staff works with our partners on campaigns that bring us closer to creating a healthy, just and equitable Mississippi Gulf Coast. Our work often includes efforts to move us toward a just transition away from the extractive fossil fuel industries that threatens our health and our environment. For many years, powerful special interests have been able to stall the growth of clean energy in the state of Mississippi, but in 2014, for the first time, the Public Service Commission commissioned a study to consider the cost and benefits of a net metering policy, and in 2015, the commissioned published a net metering rule for consideration.
In response, Steps Coalition joined the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of the Sierra Club in a campaign to support a net metering policy for Mississippi after the Public Service Commission released a draft proposal. The commission received over 600 public comments in favor of the ruling and scheduled a public hearing for October 6, 2015. Steps Coalition and partners helped organize a successful trip to Jackson for the hearing to show our support of the ruling.
WHAT IS NET METERING?
Net metering incentivizes homeowners, businesses and leaders to install rooftop solar and send their excess solar-generated electricity back to the electric grid. In other words, customers like you and me will not only save on our own electric bill but can also become energy suppliers and receive credit for the clean power we create.
The Public Service Commission’s rooftop solar program under consideration will create a level playing field for clean, renewable Mississippi produced solar energy, while reducing our dependence on fossil fuel and in turn providing our children with an energy independent future. Clean, renewable solar power would replace dirty, expensive fossil fuels. When compared to traditional or experimental forms of energy (such as the more than $6 billion Kemper Coal Plant), solar power is a bargain!
NET METERING WILL BENEFIT US ALL!
The Public Service Commission’s own study determined net metering could deliver a financial benefit to all Mississippians. Strong and fair net metering rules will lower electricity rates for all (even those without rooftop solar panels), reduce operating costs for public and private sectors, improve air quality and public health, reduce greenhouse emissions, and create a new sector in our state’s economy – providing thousands of new, good-paying jobs for Mississippians.
NET METERING WILL HELP US MEET FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A 30% REDUCTION IN CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2030
On August 3, 2015, President Obama announced a historic plan to cut carbon emissions. The EPA Clean Power Rule requires all states to submit plans to reduce carbon emissions by 30% from power plants by 2030. Each state is required to submit a plan by 2016. Governor Phil Bryant and Gary Rickard, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality have both publicly announced their opposition to the plan claiming that it is unreasonable and not achievable for the state of Mississippi despite the fact that we are already on track for achieving 2018 levels and the state has tremendous growth potential for renewable energy.
Learn more about how Mississippi’s solar power policies compare to other states and the newly proposed EPA Clean Power Rule:
For more information about this campaign, contact Jennifer Crosslin at firstname.lastname@example.org