Gainesville Loves Mountains

2,314 Supporters

In an effort to take responsibility for the adverse impacts of our community’s coal consumption, Gainesville Loves Mountains works in partnership with Appalachian communities to end mountaintop removal coal mining and create a prosperous economy and sustainable future for the region and its people. In addition to monitoring the companies that supply our coal and advocating for alternatives, we are currently pursuing local policies that will help our community achieve significant energy savings while also strengthening our economy.

Started 3 petitions

Petitioning Gainesville FL City Commission, Alachua County Commission, Jose Diaz, Matt Caldwell, Dwight Dudley, Amanda Murphy, Cary Pigman, Kevin Rader, Lake Ray, Jimmie Smith, Charlie Stone, Keith Perry, Clov...

Oppose Representative Keith Perry's bill, HB 1355

We call on our elected officials?to oppose Representative Keith Perry's bill (HB 1355), which seeks to remove authority over Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) from the City of Gainesville. ? We assert that GRU is owned by the City of Gainesville, Florida. ?When we do not agree with the policies and programs of our utility, we will seek change through GRU's Board of Directors, our elected City Commission. ?Where changes are needed, those changes should be decided upon by our community. ? In recent months, our City Commission has hired a new General Manager, developed?a Utility Advisory Board, and is considering its own governance changes that it plans to put before the voters in 2017. ?Our politically diverse Commission has voted unanimously in opposition to Rep. Perry's bill and would like the opportunity to continue developing local solutions to local challenges. We support ongoing local conversations regarding GRU governance. ?We do not, however, need or want the intrusion of Tallahassee politicians in governing our local utility. ? Background: In 2002, Gainesville Regional Utilities (of Gainesville, FL) proposed construction of a new 220 Megawatt coal power plant. ?That proposal was defeated by citizen opposition, and since then, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) has evolved from a primarily coal-dependent utility to one with a diversified fuel supply and a significant investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. GRU has been nationally-recognized for these accomplishments, and Gainesville is one of only a handful of cities that has actually fulfilled its 2005 commitment to meet the Kyoto Protocol mandate for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. ?We also have among the highest percentage of renewable energy generation and the lowest per capita electricity consumption in Florida. The implementation of these policies has not been perfect, and various people and organizations in our community have raised issues regarding GRU, from concerns about increases in electric rates, to those who opposed the biomass plant, to climate change deniers and those whose sole concern is the cheapest possible power regardless of the environmental or social impacts. ?Now a state legislator, Rep.Keith Perry (R), has filed a bill (HB 1355)?to strip governance of GRU from our elected City Commission. ?This bill is not only opposed unanimously by our City Commission, but also by Rep. Clovis Watson, who represents more than half of Gainesville and GRU ratepayers. ?Even the Staff Analysis written by legislative aides in Tallahassee lists more than a dozen concerns and flaws with the bill. We recognize that GRU is not a perfect utility. ?But it is our utility, owned by the City of Gainesville and directed by our elected City Commissioners. ?We vehemently oppose efforts such as Rep. Keith Perry?s and other intervention by Tallahassee politicians into the local decisions of our community. ?One look at the ineffectual oversight they are providing the state's privately-owned utilities confirms this assertion. ?Where changes are needed in our utility, we will take responsibility for those changes locally, through citizen engagement and election of City Commissioners who best reflect our values.

Gainesville Loves Mountains
323 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Gainesville City Commission, Alachua County Commission, Rep. Keith Perry, Debbie Mayfield, George Moraitis, Daphne Campbell, Matt Caldwell, Clovis Watson, Kevin Rader, Lake Ray, Jimmie Smith, Charl...

Oppose Representative Keith Perry's bill, HB 1325

We call on our elected officials to oppose Representative Keith Perry's bill (HB 1325), which seeks to remove authority over Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) from the City of Gainesville.   We assert that GRU is owned by the City of Gainesville, Florida.  When we do not agree with the policies and programs of our utility, we will seek change through GRU's Board of Directors, our elected City Commission.  Where changes are needed, those changes should be decided upon by our community.   We support ongoing local conversations regarding GRU governance.  We do not, however, need or want the intrusion of Tallahassee politicians in governing our local utility.   Background: In 2002, Gainesville Regional Utilities (of Gainesville, FL) proposed construction of a new 220 Megawatt coal power plant.  That proposal was defeated by citizen opposition, and since then, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) has evolved from a primarily coal-dependent utility to one with a diversified fuel supply and a significant investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. GRU has been nationally-recognized for these accomplishments, and Gainesville is one of only a handful of cities that has actually fulfilled its 2005 commitment to meet the Kyoto Protocol mandate for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  We also have among the highest percentage of renewable energy generation and the lowest per capita electricity consumption in Florida. The implementation of these policies has not been perfect, and various people and organizations in our community have raised issues regarding GRU, from concerns about increases in electric rates, to those who opposed the biomass plant, to climate change deniers and those whose sole concern is the cheapest possible power regardless of the environmental or social impacts.  Now a state legislator, Rep.Keith Perry (R), has filed a bill (HB 1325) to strip governance of GRU from our elected City Commission and reverse many of GRU’s energy policies of the last ten years. We recognize that GRU is not a perfect utility.  But it is our utility, owned by the City of Gainesville and directed by our elected City Commissioners.  We vehemently oppose efforts such as Rep. Keith Perry’s and other intervention by Tallahassee politicians into the local decisions of our community.  One look at the ineffectual oversight they are providing the state's privately-owned utilities confirms this assertion.  Where changes are needed in our utility, we will take responsibility for those changes locally, through citizen engagement and election of City Commissioners who best reflect our values.

Gainesville Loves Mountains
396 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Gainesville City Commission

Gainesville, FL City Commission: End Gainesville Regional Utility's purchases of mountaintop removal coal

Mountaintop removal (MTR) is arguably the most devastating form of energy extraction our nation has yet encountered--and Gainesville, FL can help bring it to an end!   To-date, MTR has permanently erased more than 500 peaks from the Appalachian mountains, buried or polluted more than 2,000 miles of pristine headwaters streams, and swept away more then 800 square miles of one of America’s most diverse and valuable ecosystems. The social, health, and economic toll on the region has been equally dire. Our City Commission can end Gainesville's connection to MTR by asking GRU to avoid any future purchases of coal mined using this method.  Let's help make Gainesville an example of how communities can embrace a clean energy future!    As a few of our friends in Appalachia have said: “As a native West Virginian and 11th generation Appalachian, I have witnessed first hand the impacts of mountaintop removal on the health and heritage of the Appalachian people. Too many people are sick and dying because of MTR.  Please act! We are running out of time here and remember we all live downstream.” -Dustin White.  Charleston, WV   “Coal companies have major influence over politicians in Kentucky. We need help from other states to stop this practice.” -Jeanne Marie Hibberd.  Berea, KY   “We are sickened by the ever constant devastation of our homeland and we don't believe that we should have to suffer this kind of destruction to have a job...it is important to remember that with the decline of a finite resource and an eye toward a future economy, every time we blow up another mountain, we destroy yet another future economic development opportunity.” -Kathy Selvage.  Wise, VA

Gainesville Loves Mountains
1,595 supporters