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December 2021 Newsletter

Greetings, All! Here’s an update on our continuing journey towards a municipal electric utility (muni) in Ann Arbor! We have an important meeting coming up.

Tune into the Energy Commission (EC) meeting December 14, 2001, at 6:00 pm! 

The Energy Commission (EC), at its meeting on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, will make its final decision on a resolution endorsing a municipal utility feasibility study. The commission will first hear public comment at the start of the meeting. (See details below.) We encourage you to tune in and speak out if you have an opinion you’d like to share.

The meeting is virtual and can be accessed by going to https://ctnvideo.a2gov.org/CablecastPublicSite/watch/3?channel=1. Or go to a2gov.org, click on that Democracy block, then click on CTN, the City’s tv station, to view the broadcast which will start exactly at 6:00. Public comment can be made by telephone only (three-minute limit per person at the start of the meeting, and at the end.) The call-in number is 877 853 5247; the meeting ID is 937 6751 6819, which will be printed on the screen and restated by EC Chair John Mirsky. 

Welcome, Volunteers!

If you want to get involved, contact us at annarborpublicpower@gmail.com. Let us know how you would like to help. For example, you can put up one of our handsome new yard signs on your lawn. For the more ambitious, we are going door to door in Ann Arbor neighborhoods explaining who we are, listening to people’s views, then, if they wish, asking them to sign a petition directing the Ann Arbor City Council to fund a feasibility study. When we sponsor a public event, you can help us talk about our campaign with those who attend. Or if you have a special skill to share with us, let us know! We welcome all to our team of volunteers!

Join our Discord

Want to join the fight for energy justice and democracy in Ann Arbor? Join the discussion in Ann Arbor for Public Power's Discord server! Our Discord server has up-to-date information about our plans and events. To join, send an email to annarborpublicpower@gmail.com with "Discord" in the subject line and we'll send you an invite!

The Energy Commission (EC) meeting November 9, 2021

At the EC meeting November 9, 2021, Dr. Missy Stults, Director of Ann Arbor’s Office of Sustainability and Innovations (OSI), described a new plan for reducing city greenhouse gas emissions. The city would establish a Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU), a nonprofit utility that would help city residents make their homes more energy efficient, install solar panels, and switch from gas heat to electric heat pumps. The SEU would also promote microgrids, building-level electric power generating units that are disconnected from the larger grid. Residents will be able to opt in to SEU service or to continue to rely exclusively on DTE.

At the meeting, the energy commission voted to include the SEU in the muni feasibility study resolution, directing city council to develop the necessary legislation and to conduct an SEU rate analysis, along with other steps. In addition, the current resolution mainly endorses an options analysis “to analyze and propose multiple potential pathways the City could take to meet its A2ZERO energy-related emissions reduction and clean energy goals.”  While A2P2 supports the SEU and other clean grid options, it’s not clear that this current resolution endorses a muni feasibility study as it’s commonly understood: an engineering and economic investigation into the costs and benefits of replacing DTE as the city’s electric service provider.  A2P2 has suggested an amendment to clarify that the resolution does in fact endorse an authentic muni feasibility study, and this amendment will be introduced at the December 14 meeting, energy commission’s deadline for finalizing the resolution and voting on it.

The City Council (CC) meeting December 6, 2021

 

At the December 6, 2021, CC meeting, the Council placed a 20-year, one mill Community Climate Action Millage on the November, 2022 election ballot for voters to decide. The millage, if passed, would raise about $140 million for climate action. Spending would be guided by the A2Zero carbon neutrality plan. 

And in the meantime:

We have an online auction going on, to raise money to support our projects, active from November 30 to December 19. To place a bid, go to https://www.32auctions.com/A2P2. All proceeds will go to Ann Arbor for Public Power. Join the fun!

A group of Municipal Madrigal Singers, as well as a Scrooge McDTE, have been out caroling songs about DTE, with lyrics, written by Lauren Sargent, following well known tunes. They sang at the MidnightMadness event on December 4, 2021. Scrooge McDTE was great at saying Bah-Humbug to all their charming songs and necklaces of colored lights!

See lyrics of:

Tree Town Power
To the tune of Jingle Bells

Tree Town Pow’r, Tree Town Pow’r
Tree Town Pow’r for me
Built to meet our climate goals
Completely fossil free ee

Tree Town Pow’r, Tree Town Pow’r
We can build it here
Extract our town from DTE
completely free and clear

Two centuries ago
We thought it would be wise
To light our city streets
With a private franchise
But in the course of time
A monopoly ensued
And now for corporate profits
Ratepayers are abused

Tree Town Pow’r, Tree Town Pow’r
We can build it here
No more power outages from DTE to fear
Tree Town Pow’r, Tree Town Pow’r
Built to suit our needs
Centered on renewables, free of corp’rate greed

After some strong winds on December 11, 2021, many parts of Ann Arbor had severe electric outages which lasted up to 24 hours for some, and still longer for others. We were reminded of DTE’s unreliability once again. 

And, thus, encouraged to work ever harder to build a muni in Ann Arbor!

Please check out our website, annarborpublicpower.org, to learn more, or to volunteer. All are welcome!
 

Interview with The Robin podcast

If you're interested in getting up to speed on the campaign A2P2 President Greg Woodring did an interview with the hosts of the podcast “The Robin”. Make sure to look out for it on their Apple Podcasts page.

Have questions, concerns, or just want to say hi? Reach out to A2P2 at annarborpublicpower@gmail.com!
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