As the world adapts to these unusual circumstances, I find myself missing the physical connections to colleagues and allies that I took for granted. Now, though, I am very conscientiously reaching out to so many people, just to check in and stay in contact. In that spirit, I wanted to write a blog post for Fresh Energy’s stakeholders.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working to ensure that the transition to clean energy is not forgotten as we collectively pool our resources to respond to this global emergency. In many ways, the focus and commitment that has been brought to bear to fight COVID-19 reflects the level of effort we need to fight climate change. While the time scales differ, the more urgently we act, and the smarter the public policy, the fewer will suffer.
Like many of you, Fresh Energy quickly and efficiently restructured our operations to assure that our team members have support and flexibility to continue to advance their important work. We are fortunate that so much of our research and policy-development work is still aggressively moving forward:
- Our energy markets experts recently submitted robust technical comments to modernize and digitize the local electricity distribution system. Read more.
- Fresh Energy’s energy access and equity team is providing thought leadership on how our energy system could change after this period of disruption. Read the Community Voices Op Ed in MinnPost by Ben Passer, director of energy access and equity.
- Our electric transportation experts are making the case that Minnesota Clean Cars rules are more important than ever, given the federal government’s proposed rollbacks of tailpipe emission standards. Read more.
- Fresh Energy is speaking out against federal efforts to weaken regulations on the mercury and toxic metals released from oil and coal-fired power plants. Read more.
As we double down on our mission, we are also balancing what it means to live our values as an organization. We have been forced to reschedule events and reconsider some fundraising activities. So much of our work is relationships and coalition building, and negotiation of agreements, and that hard work is always done best in person.
Please know we’re making great strides in fostering community online for you and our other partners—because we know how important it is to feel connected, even when we can’t be together in person. We will keep you posted on how you can stay engaged with us.
As I close this note, I want to share how grateful I am to be a part of the Fresh Energy community. Our team members, the important work we are doing, and supporters like you offer me great hope in an uncertain world.
You can stay up to speed on Fresh Energy’s work during this crisis by subscribing to our e-newsletter or following us on Facebook and Twitter. We also just released a new podcast episode discussing how Fresh Energy’s legislative and policy goals have changed in response to COVID-19. Stream it here or download via your favorite podcast app. You can also support Fresh Energy by making a tax-deductible donation.
Wishing you safety and good health!
P.S. Did you see my quotes in the Star Tribune earlier this month? As I say in the story, at this moment people are focused on getting groceries and caring for their children. But in the months ahead this will be a hell of an opportunity to look at: ‘What does a world look like that doesn’t run on fossil fuel?’ Our pledge to you is that Fresh Energy will be there, advancing bold climate solutions, as we all roll up our sleeves and rebuild our society to be healthier, stronger, more equitable, and dramatically lower-carbon than before.