The Solution: Taking Charge of Our Own Energy

"Investing in clean energy means investing in our own communities and taking charge of our own energy. Instead of subsidizing big oil, we invest in wind turbines on farms, solar on our roofs, and schools that use less energy—creating local jobs, stronger communities, and a more stable climate."

Value: Empowerment

- Hot Fact -

In 2014, nearly 600 solar installations were
completed every day in the US. (xvi)

  • A new U.S. solar installation was completed every 2.5 minutes in 2014; even faster than one every four minutes in 2013.(xvi)
  • At the end of 2013, the U.S. had installed more solar in the prior 18 months than in the past 30 years(xvii), and we’re still only scratching the surface when it comes to America’s clean energy potential.
  • The U.S. has abundant renewable energy potential — including offshore wind on our coasts and on the Great Lakes, onshore wind through middle-America, and solar energy almost everywhere, especially in the Southwest.(xviii)
  • Clean energy creates far more jobs per unit of energy than fossil fuels.
  • The cost of electricity from wind and solar has gone down dramatically year after year and as technology improves, it will keep getting cheaper. Not only are they carbon-pollution free, but no one owns the wind and sun; unlike oil and coal, they are free fuel forever.(xx)
  • From Orlando to Denver, Houston to Salt Lake City, cities across the country are leading the way in reducing their energy use. In the process, they are saving money, reducing carbon emissions, and creating jobs by making buildings more energy efficient.(xxi)
  • The Empire State Building had a major efficiency upgrade in 2009.  In just the past three years, the improvements have saved nearly $7.5 million in energy costs.(xxii)

Key Supporting Facts:

  • It’s now and it’s local.  Talk about practical, clean-energy solutions available today. Describe a local clean energy success story – of solar, wind, a green building, or energy savings.
  • Focus on benefits to people. Talk about how regular people in our families, our towns, and our neighborhoods are taking positive action.
  • Take on opponents with patriotic pride. Those who say nothing can be done about climate change forget who we are and what we can do. No one should doubt America’s ingenuity and resolve. People are proud of America’s history of problem-solving and innovation. With gridlock in DC, this “can-do” appeal may work best when applied to our states, cities and neighborhoods. We can change things from the bottom up.
  • Use the .  Remember to pivot to the other two points of the triangle.

Tips & Talking Points

  • Climate change can feel overwhelming, even paralyzing. But Americans can be engaged and inspired when we focus on positive, hopeful solutions.
  • It shows people a positive, concrete way forward – one that can happen in our own cities and towns, and doesn’t rely on breaking gridlock in DC.
  • While Americans support the idea of clean energy, most aren’t aware of the extent of our clean energy resources or the progress that’s already been made with solar and wind installations, electric and hybrid vehicles, and building energy efficiency.
  • It focuses on solutions that are ready-to-go now; it doesn’t ask people to wait for future breakthroughs.

Why It’s Powerful: