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The Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership looks good on paper. It was implemented to reward companies that invest in sustainable, low-impact energy. But the truth is that Green Power Partnership certification is so easy to obtain, it's virtually meaningless.
That's because, to certify, a company doesn't have to actually invest in green energy. It can, instead, buy a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) which is nothing but a thin paper promise. This is particularly hurtful to individuals with a conscience who have bought into their power companies' offers of "clean energy." Turns out, that extra expense is more than likely going straight into the power company's advertising department. In 2007, Georgia Power spent most of the clean energy premiums it received from environmentalists on ads and administrative costs, according to Businessweek.com. RECs were supposed to drive the development and success of wind farms, but wind energy is such a good value, it would have made it without the RECs and the certificates have had little impact.
The Environmental Protection Agency may be doing a lot of good things, but the Green Power Partnership program needs a lot of scrutiny. Tell the EPA to make certification in this program worth something!
Environmental Protection Agency:
We the undersigned believe in your overall mission to save the world from the worst effects of climate change. However, we respectfully ask that you reconsider the way that the Green Power Partnership rewards companies that are doing little or nothing to lower their emissions.
Green Power Partnership should mean something--especially because families and individual energy customers buy into their power company's offer of clean, green energy. These customers have paid more on their utility bills, believing that they were doing the right thing and making the world freer of carbon dioxide. Instead, in many cases, their hard-earned dollars went straight into the marketing department where high-paid executives learn to lie to their customer base.
Please redesign the Green Power Partnership so that it has some teeth and does some actual good!