In the 10 years since 25x’25 was founded, the Alliance has made significant strides in helping move the country down the path to a clean energy future. And as 25x’25 efforts promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency move decisively into a second decade, the support provided by state-level alliances, coalitions and associate stakeholders in sustaining the 25x’25 Vision must be fully acknowledged.
With the restructuring of its leadership team, the Alliance is devoting more effort into defining and articulating the multiple benefits of a 25x’25 energy future. Pursuing a fresh Vision Campaign for 2014 that will embrace an all-of-the-above energy approach, support from 25x’25 partners at the state level in the Alliance’s advocacy of sustainable energy policies will be as critical as ever.
From its inception, the national leadership of 25x’25 Alliance has recognized the grassroots leadership and knowledge of the local policy landscape that state alliance partners provide. This support is an invaluable asset, whether it’s defending state renewable energy portfolio standards, promoting biofuel research initiatives or pushing elected officials to make energy efficiency a principal policy goal.
Agriculture and forestry partners heeded a 25x’25 call to action to oppose efforts by a coalition of big energy, utility, industry and “think tank” groups to revise or weaken state renewable energy mandates across the country. For example, the engagement of partners in Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio and Missouri in the development of op-eds and other messaging helped turn back legislative efforts to eliminate or dilute longstanding renewable electricity mandates that have driven significant investments in rural areas and energy diversification, creating a more stable and secure energy infrastructure.
In Tennessee, 25x’25 serves on the Advisory Board of the Southeast Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems (IBSS), which shares the Alliance’s interest in the development of multiple feedstocks for the sustainable production of infrastructure-compatible biofuels. This partner network helps meet the communications goals that will help create a well-trained workforce and give stakeholders the knowledge they need to support a biofuels industry.
In Mississippi, 25x’25 and its partners there coordinated the messaging strategy of numerous and varied stakeholder groups that helped push through a final rule and order for statewide energy efficiency rules. By requiring the creation of utility-run energy efficiency programs, the rules adopted by the Mississippi Public Service Commission are expected to save consumers more than $2.3 billion over the next 20 years and create 9,500 new jobs.
Significant among the support provided by state alliance partners and stakeholders has been the messaging to Washington asserting the value of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Throughout much of 2013, state leaders have helped defend the RFS, authoring op-eds for state, regional and national news outlets that reframe the conversation and identify the real interests behind efforts to scuttle federal renewable fuel goals, as well as respond to misinformation generated by those who would eliminate the RFS.
With a deadline next Tuesday for public comment on an EPA proposal that would reduce RFS biofuel blending requirements this year, state leaders are stepping up now and urging the Obama administration to reject any effort that would have a chilling effect on the job growth and other economic benefits that biofuel production is bringing to rural America.
For those in the process of recruiting constituencies within their respective states to make their case to EPA, 25x’25 offers some excellent resources that can guide renewable energy advocates in developing their arguments against the proposed changes to the RFS.
While 25x’25 always stands ready to work with its allies in the states, the Alliance knows that state leaders stand ready to work with us to face these challenges and further advance our shared clean energy vision. The Alliance thanks and appreciates the men and women who comprise the ever growing cadre of grassroots agriculture and forestry energy leaders.