Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Sustainable Energy Future for our Town

by Robert Malin
A version of this article appeared as a Letter to the Editor in The Westerly Sun

No matter where I go in Charlestown, citizens agree that they live here because of their love for nature. In order to preserve our town’s wilderness, we must work together to protect it from the impacts of climate change, fossil fuels, and other toxins.
This is why I believe Charlestown needs to move to renewable energy. This can easily be done by assisting residents in purchasing solar panels through programs like Solarize.
However, we cannot stop there. It is imperative to also assist our schools and municipal buildings in acquiring solar energy and explore community wind. By using the Commercial Property Accessed Clean Energy program, we can lower the operating costs of our schools while also reducing our carbon footprint, just like West Warwick did.
Additionally, I will work with planning to rewrite the existing prohibitive wind technology ordinance in Charlestown so that other towns will work with us when we want to site a Town owned Community project like they did in West Warwick and form a water safety task force to test for toxins and ensure a safe water supply for our town.
Although challenging, these changes are necessary to setting Charlestown on the right path to a sustainable future. In doing so, we can prepare the town for the transitions we need while protecting the health and safety of our residents. This is the kind of leadership that, if elected, I pledge to provide.