new american dream in ann arbor

The Center for a New American Dream just contacted me, asking for an end-of-the-year contribution, and, in their pitch, they’ve included some of the things they plan to do in ’07. One of their main bullet points is:

Enable the State of Wisconsin, the City of Ann Arbor, MI, and the City of Cambridge, MA to purchase electricity from renewable sources for their energy needs.

I plan to write them a letter and ask what it is exactly that they’re doing to enable Ann Arbor to purchase electricity from renewable sources. I know that New American Dream runs an institutional purchasing program, which seeks to connect entities, like local governments, with vendors offering products and services that have good environmental track records, but I’m not aware of anything they’re doing in the energy trading space. I know this is probably of interest to very few of you out there, but my interest is piqued.

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  1. mark
    Posted December 13, 2006 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Ann Arbor, for those of you that don’t know, is under a mandate from City Hall to purchase a certain percentage of the the power it consumes from renewable sources each year. (I’m probably wrong about this, but I think it’s something like 3%.) In addition to running solar at the Leslie Science Center, I believe they get some of it from one or two of the local dams that are still in service. Everything else, I believe I’ve heard, is purchased from wind farms through an organization like Green Mountain… Which is why this interests me. I’m not sure where New American Dream fits into the equation.

    [note: I probably have all the facts wrong in this comment, so please don’t quote me.]

  2. mark
    Posted December 13, 2006 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Maybe Ann Arbor applied for a grant or something so that they could hire a person that would oversee the program. Perhaps that’s what it is… On some level that would piss me off, as Ann Arbor is fairly resource-rich, and I’m sure there are other cities that would love to have assistance in the energy area, but I realize that if renewable energy is ever going to make real inroads, it’s going to be because cities like Ann Arbor pushed it even when it didn’t make good economic sense. And, if New American Dream is helping to offset that loss, I guess it’s a good thing.

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