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Mainstream Energy Talks

4 years ago | Apr 04, 2016
By: Olga Khakova

You may have heard that the Clean Power Plan is on hold, and that the final decision may not come out until the beginning of 2017. But that has not stopped CEP from continuing the conversation and educational initiatives on the future of energy in Kansas.In the last month CEP led six interactive workshops on the Clean Power Plan. The workshops consisted of informational component about the CPP as well as an interactive portion during which the attendees brainstormed the ways health, energy sources, pollution, and climate change are interconnected.

Some common feedback we have heard during those events is that "we are preaching to the choir” the people in the room are usually the ones who are already engaged and informed.  Are we all taking in silos to the same people about the same environmental issues, echoing each other’s thoughts? And if so, how do we expand those conversations to be more "mainstream”?  

How do we talk about energy usage and sources, pollution, and climate change the same way we check up on each-other’s health? Those topics are all connected: energy sources emitting air pollution contribute to respiratory diseases and heart attacks. But rarely do we take the time to get to the contributing causes of the mentioned health problems. Imagine if we discussed and planned our energy future the same way we plan and talk about our retirement - both personally affect our wallets, our environment, and quality of life. Why be passive about planning one while actively engaging in the other? Perhaps we have too many everyday worries as is and adding another issue on top of everyday struggles can seem overwhelming. But if cleaner energy can improve our health and save us on electricity costs, maybe it is worth our time.

The good news is that discussing energy issues can lead to collaboration and solutions! When knowledgeable consumers start demanding affordable, abundant, sustainable and accessible energy we can look for win-win solutions together and not have to wait for federal regulations such as the Clean Power Plan to make the changes we want to see in our energy future.


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