“The Whole Earth,” a Summit on the Environment and the Economy

“The Whole Earth,” a Summit on the Environment and the Economy

As Minnesota moves more and more toward increased use of renewable energy, low income families are being left behind. While they are the ones most likely to suffer from the continued use of fossil fuels, they have little or no access to the financing they need to participate in this new clean energy economy.

Roundtable

Roundtable participants included Rev. Steve Sylvester, Senior Pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Circle Pines, Dave Bartholomay, the Mayor of Circle Pines, Ellen Anderson, a former state senator and chair of the state’s Public Utilities Commission, and Lee Gabler, a senior executive from Xcel Energy,

Drawing on the words of Pope Francis, “We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather one complex crisis which is social and environmental,” a group of ISAIAH leaders from ISAIAH’s Northeast Chapter decided to work to eliminate this power gap.

On Sunday, February 21, 450 people attended a Summit to learn about actions we could take to make it possible for every Minnesotan, regardless of credit score or income, to become producers and consumers of clean energy.

Several community leaders participated in a roundtable discussion during the meeting on ways to close the power gap. They each made some amazing commitments to use their influence to eliminate the gap and make it possible for everyone in Minnesota to have access to clean energy and its financial savings.

Rev. Steve Sylvester, Senior Pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Circle Pines, committed to working in his congregation to create a community solar garden that would include low income participants.

Dave Bartholomay, the mayor of Circle Pines, agreed to work with ISAIAH to find ways his city could create access.

Ellen Anderson, a former state senator and chair of the state’s Public Utilities Commission, agreed to partner with ISAIAH to host a meeting of other mayors to engage them in a conversation about what they can do.

Most notably, Lee Gabler, a senior executive from Xcel Energy agreed that Xcel would form a working group with ISAIAH and its allies to focus on specific ways to close the power gap.

More to come as we follow up on these commitments and determine how best to ensure that all God’s children have the power they need to heal the earth and build wealth for themselves and their families!

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