Amidst Historic U.S. Investments in Infrastructure and Clean Energy, Industry Leader Provides Roadmap for Rural Renaissance

Amidst Historic U.S. Investments in Infrastructure and Clean Energy, Industry Leader Provides Roadmap for Rural Renaissance

Groundswell CEO and TVA Board of Directors Nominee L. Michelle Moore explains how to revitalize rural power 

(Washington, DC) The passage of historic investments in clean energy tax credits and manufacturing incentives under the Biden administration presents an enormous opportunity for America to both reduce harmful pollution and revive the economies of long-languishing rural communities. Published today by Island Press and authored by Groundswell CEO and current nominee to the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors L. Michelle Moore, “Rural Renaissance: Revitalizing America’s Hometowns through Clean Power” offers a practical and inspiring roadmap for success.

Ms. Moore drew upon her upbringing in rural Georgia, a 25-year career in green business, and a stint in the White House leading sustainability initiatives for President Obama to envision a future in which rural communities thrive from harvesting abundant solar energy into America’s cooperative and publicly owned power network that enables high-speed community broadband, electrified transportation, improved healthcare, and increased business opportunity. Breaking down the current state of energy infrastructure in this country, she deftly explores the historical roots of rural power, the governmental dynamics overseeing utilities at various levels, the inequality burdening persistent poverty counties, contemporary challenges, and success stories.

“We’ve got a once-in-a-generation chance to build local clean energy futures by investing in rural power,” said Michelle. “For starters, the Inflation Reduction Act has $10 billion for rural utilities, $40 billion for manufacturing energy technology in the USA, and up to

$1,800 per year in potential household energy savings - which is especially important for rural families who face the highest energy burdens in the country. The funding is federal, but local leadership is what will make it work, and I wrote ‘Rural Renaissance’ to help local leaders get started.”

Key Takeaways:

●     America’s nearly 3000 rural electric cooperatives and public power utilities were designed to be energy democracies nearly 100 years ago, and they are just as relevant today.

●     These local utilities serve more than 90% of the persistent poverty counties in the country and more than half of America’s landmass – and they hold the legal authority to deliver clean energy and broadband that would connect rural America to the global economy in a way that enriches communities rather than impoverishing them.

●     Five components of a clean energy future you can put to work for your community are: energy efficiency, solar power, resilience, electric vehicles, and broadband.

●     Rural leaders all across the country, many profiled in the book, are already demonstrating how.

Said former Secretary of the Navy and Governor of Mississippi Ray Mabus, "As someone who grew up there, I know rural America has to be a critical part of a clean energy future. This book equips local leaders to make sure the future includes rural jobs, businesses, and a clean energy industry made in rural America."

L. Michelle Moore is the CEO of Groundswell, a nonprofit that builds community power by connecting solar, resilience, and energy efficiency with economic development, affordability, and quality of life. A social entrepreneur and former White House official with roots in rural Georgia, Michelle has been helping communities across America shape sustainable, clean energy futures for 25 years. Her accomplishments range from leading the effort to cut federal energy use by $11 billion and deploy 3.2 gigawatts of new renewable energy for President Obama, to developing innovative new clean energy programs for her hometown. Michelle was born and raised in LaGrange, Georgia, and now lives in Midlothian, Virginia, with her husband and family. Her work is rooted in her faith, and the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

For press inquiries or interview requests, please contact Lauren Windsor 

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