Being able to produce our own sustainable power, and also be connected to the grid is a big part of our sustainable systems at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. But right now our ability to connect to the grid for the reasons we want to is being threatened by Republican lawmakers on the take from…you guessed it…the fossil fuel industry and corporate utilities. But that’s not all Republicans around the country are trying to push to stop people from being more self sufficient and sustainable.
State and local governments, pressured by utilities and led by Republican lawmakers, want to outlaw living off the grid. Local codes around the country don’t allow living off the grid, yet they require you to be connected to often outdated, ancient systems using outmoded technology. If you are connected to a sewage system you are guaranteed to mix your shit with your water supply, and many grid sewage treatment systems can’t handle increased flow in rainy weather and flush raw sewage into waterways. Is that really a better, more sanitary system?
Something I didn’t mention about our power to take power from fossil fuel industries is that when we stop using fossil fuel we drive down the price of it and it becomes less economically viable for corporations to invest in extraction. This is why new investment in fracking has slowed with the dip in oil prices. If it’s not a big enough payoff corporations won’t invest in extraction.
Around the world, countries other than the US are eliminating fossil fuel from their economy. Britain has cut its coal consumption 50% since 2010. Other European countries are already fossil fuel free. As this happens, the price of fossil fuel will plummet. But without government (qualifier: without govt uncorrupted by the fossil fuel industry) that would just mean everyone would go back to using more fossil fuel. Countries that have committed to phasing out fossil fuel with laws will not reinvest in fossil fuel just because the price goes down. We have to stop using fossil fuel in the US despite the idiocy of the current administration and the people who have stolen our government. Once we give them the boot, we have to change laws to phase out the use of fossil fuel country wide. This includes requiring private utilities (which get trillions in subsidies from the government) to allow grid tie with net metering, and making living off the grid legal everywhere in the country. Until all the utilities are selling nothing but renewable, sustainable energy, we have to be able to produce our own.