Energy is the backbone of our modern lives; yet with its many benefits come many concerns. The production and use of energy in Georgia negatively impacts the quality of our air, the quantity and quality of our water in our rivers, and the health of our citizens.
We believe that conservation and efficiency are the first and best sources to address Georgia's energy needs; that renewable energy resources are preferred over unsustainable alternatives; and that solutions to energy problems should lead to improved environmental and health outcomes.
Our energy program and energy advocacy is guided by the following principles:
- Economic growth and prosperity are consistent with sustainable energy production and use.
- Individuals, businesses and industry, and government all have a role to play in creating Georgia's sustainable energy future.
- A range of solutions, including some that are transitional, is necessary to move Georgia to sustainable energy production and use.
- Every improvement, no matter how small, is important.
- Georgia should invest in and develop programs that educate individuals and organizations about energy efficiency opportunities in the home, at work and on the road, and provide encouragement, incentives, resources and, in some cases, mandates for energy efficiency.
- Georgia should reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and instead invest in and sustainably develop its abundant biomass resources as well as other potential in-state sources of renewable energy such as solar, wind and tidal.
- Georgia's transportation system should be linked with land use planning and should offer diverse options so that Georgians can reduce their reliance on automobiles.
- To promote the most efficient use of energy and the use of renewable resources, energy should be produced increasingly close to where it is used (such as through combined heat and power systems, localized solar systems, and in Georgia using fuel produced from Georgia resources).
- The price of energy should reflect the environmental and health costs of energy production. In moving to this more inclusive pricing, we should be prepared to mitigate the impacts of this transition on less affluent Georgians.
- Georgia should develop a strategy to address global warming that estimates annual statewide greenhouse gas emissions by activity, provides a plan for verifiable annual reductions, and specifies benchmarks, goals, targets and schedules.
- The development of new nuclear power should be considered only in combination with aggressive measures on energy efficiency and renewable energy as part of a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon emissions and only on an equal economic basis (including all subsidies and guarantees) with other low carbon technologies.