Press Contact:
Jeanne Baron, Center for Social Inclusion
Office 212-248-2785 x 1454
Cell 312-402-7171


CSI Report Calls For a New Approach to Energy Policy in America

April 20th, 2010 New York, NY- A new report by the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI), Energy Democracy: Community Scale Green Energy Solutions, argues that addressing the question of race is key to building a stronger and ‘greener’ American economy. The report concludes that community-owned or controlled renewable energy and small-scale electricity production strengthens communities of color and provides benefits to the nation at large. See the introductory video and a short executive summary.

“As policy pressures mount in the face of global warming and a dwindling energy supply, the United States has a critical opportunity to re-imagine our energy markets and create inclusive policies that reach communities of color while improving our overall economy,” said Denis Rhoden, lead author of the CSI report.

CSI’s Energy Democracy: Community Scale Green Energy Solutions report outlines key inequities and solutions in U.S. energy policy including:

  • The expense for electricity is higher for African Americans than any other group.
  • 34 million households of color consumed 385 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2009, and displayed $41 billion in buying power.
  • Since communities of color are clearly significant consumers of electricity. They are likely significant producers, too.

CSI has identified policy areas that must be addressed to encourage innovation in local energy production. They include:

Land use and zoning regulations that support local electricity production

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s continued support for renewable energy subsidies known as Feed-in-Tariffs

Legal structures that support low income business investment

“CSI’s report is one of the most exciting proposals I’ve encountered to make energy policy, poverty alleviation, and environmental justice a national public policy priority. What’s more, it’s clear that Energy Democracy envisions a landscape that will benefit everyone with a cleaner, more reliable supply of energy,” said Vernice Miller-Travis, Vice Chair, Maryland State Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities

Energy Democracy: Community Scale Green Energy Solutions provides a blueprint for interested policy makers, business and community leaders, environmental justice advocates, and green entrepreneurs to explore a better way to secure our energy needs while building equity and wealth community by community.

For interviews or a hard copy report please contact:

Center for Social Inclusion

April 2010

65 Broadway, Suite 1800, New York, NY. 10006

212- 248-2785

CSI’s develops policy ideas, foster leadership, and create communication tools that help communities of color dismantle structural barriers to opportunity.

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