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Power to the People: Navigating Georgia's Energy Policies for an Equitable Future

Janessa Rowland | March 8, 2024

The "Power to the People: Navigating Georgia's Energy Policies for an Equitable Future" event, organized by Janessa Rowland as part of the Girl + Environment - Energy Justice Ambassador Program, took place on February 20, 2024, at the New Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia. The event aimed to educate and empower seniors about Georgia's energy policies and their impact on the environment, health, and household budgets.

The event provided attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the environmental and health impacts of energy generation, particularly from fossil fuels. Participants learned about the harmful effects of air pollution and its link to various health issues, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory illnesses. The discussion also emphasized Georgia's transition to cleaner energy sources to mitigate these impacts.

Attendees gained insights into the factors contributing to rising utility bills, such as natural disasters, political conflicts, and energy infrastructure projects like Plant Vogel. They learned about the role of the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) in regulating energy rates and the importance of voting in local elections to elect officials aligned with consumer interests.

The event encouraged attendees to take proactive steps to address energy policy issues, including voting in the upcoming elections for GPSC seats. Participants were provided with resources such as phone scripts, email templates, and contact information for Georgia Public Service Commissioners to advocate for their concerns. Practical tips for reducing energy costs through weatherization and energy-efficient appliances were also shared, and attendees received free LED light bulbs and weatherization kits.

To sustain community engagement, ongoing initiatives were discussed, including continued collaboration with organizations like Girl + Environment. Efforts to disseminate information on energy-saving programs, rebates, and utility assistance tailored for seniors were highlighted. Participants were encouraged to utilize these resources and engage with their communities on energy policy issues.

The "Power to the People" event served as an educational platform to raise awareness about energy policies and environmental justice in Georgia. By engaging with seniors and empowering them to advocate for equitable energy policies, the event aimed to reduce energy costs and promote sustainable solutions for a more equitable future.


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