Renewable Energy: Empowering Local Communities, Lowering Taxes

December 28, 2020

Sign in Mt Haley Township, MI, states the obvious. Rural services have been hard hit and hollowed out. Renewable energy can help. Mt Haley Planning Commission just unanimously approved a site plan for new wind turbines.

Money follows power.

Anytime in the last century, when you turned on a light switch in rural America, you’d be reasonably sure (thanks to rural electrification subsidies from the depression era) that lights would come on, but just as sure that, at the same time, money would leave your bank account, your community, your state, most likely your region, most likely to end up in a bank in New York, in the accounts of coal, gas, or uranium barons.

Now, hit a switch in an increasing number of rural areas, the lights come on, and a significant stream of revenue flows directly into the local economy, in your pocket, in your neighbor’s pocket, into tax base for the community.
Into roads, schools, sheriff patrols, fire/rescue, trash collection, and a host of service upgrades that are usually seen only in well funded urban or suburban districts.
And, since power follows money, political power, the ability to be self determining, flows back just a little from state and federal government, down to counties, townships, villages, small businesses and farms.

No wonder Big Fossil is fighting so hard – to maintain power and privilege.

One innovation that a lot of wind developers have adopted, is the “Participation Agreement”, by which someone who may not have a wind turbine, but lives in the project footprint, can receive a share of revenues on an annual basis. Such payments create a greater sense of ownership in the community.

Above and below, local officials, and the Fire Chief of Breckenridge/Wheeler Fire Rescue talk about the support they’ve received from wind turbines.


One Response to “Renewable Energy: Empowering Local Communities, Lowering Taxes”

  1. J4Zonian Says:

    “Rural services have been hard hit and hollowed out. Renewable energy can help.”

    Renewable energy CAN help, in a lot of ways. Improving health, health care, rural health services, emergency services, environmental services and clean up, education and infrastructure, avoiding climate catastrophe… and so much more.

    But rural communities have been hollowed out by inequality and urbanization (which is caused largely by inequality). Until we equalize economically and politically, both rural and urban communities will continue to decline, services will erode, and fascism followed by global collapse will become increasingly likely.

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