On June 27, the Landmark printed a letter from the Brookfield Cool Village Coalition about the new electricity deal for Brookfield. While that deal looks and sounds very nice, it prompts some serious questions.
It claims to be “100-percent green energy,” but in the flier sent to residents, the environmental disclosure for FirstEnergy shows 100 percent of the power coming from “unknown resources purchased from other companies.”
Huh? If there is enough renewable capacity that can be bought at such a deep discount, why can’t they certify it? And if FirstEnergy can’t identify their sources, what assurance do we have that it is truly fossil-free? What if the demand exceeds the available wind and solar capacity in the region?
Climate change is truly a serious and daunting challenge, and Citizens Climate Lobby – the group I represent (www.citizensclimatelobby.org) – applauds any efforts to tackle it. Switching to electricity that avoids greenhouse gas emissions is an excellent way to contribute.
But the last thing we need is more “greenwashing,” where companies try to fool the public into thinking they are helping the environment without providing real evidence. That kind of behavior just undermines public confidence in the need for effective action.
The village of Brookfield and the Brookfield Cool Village Coalition should demand that FirstEnergy clear the air about their green promises before launching this electricity deal.
Rick Knight is a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby, Chicagoland West Chapter.