In the Toolkit --

Introduction

  • Guide to the Toolkit
  • Leagues in Action
  • I. Choosing a Role for Your League

    II. Grassroots Action Priorities

  • Climate Action
  • Price on Carbon
  • Our Children's Trust
  • Energy Efficient Buildings
  • Renewable Energy
  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • III. Basics of Climate Change

    IV. Engaging Individuals

  • Communicating About Climate Change
  • Preparing for a Meeting on Climate Change
  • Engaging Groups in Your Community
  • V. Promoting Public Policy

  • Community Action Models
  • Organizing For Community Action
  • Tips for Building Grassroots Support
  • League Action on Climate Change
  • International Action
  • VI. Resources

    LWV Delaware -- Promoting a Comprehensive Energy/Climate Change Plan for Delaware

    As the result of a state study and consensus process, the LWV Delaware undertook a campaign for state adoption of a comprehensive energy/climate change plan with the following features --

    How did your League become involved in the issue? And what did you do?

    In the course of the state study, committee members learned that Delaware's per capita GHG emissions were higher than the U.S. average, ranking 12th highest among the states. Working with leaders of other key environmental groups (Delaware Nature Society, Sierra Club, University of Delaware Institute for Energy Conversion, and the Center for the Inland Bays), the League published a 4-page summary and a 30-page report analyzing Delaware's energy consumption and GHG emissions, projected impacts of climate change for Delaware, previous actions taken by the state, and options for the future. (These documents are available on the LWV Delaware website, under LWVDE Studies.)

    Once the study was completed and consensus reached, the League sent a letter to the governor in June 2011, urging him to issue an executive order setting in motion the creation of a comprehensive energy/climate change plan. Members of the League and partner organizations met with the governor and his staff in February 2012. They also were in contact with the Director for Energy and Climate Change in the Department  of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and exchanged drafts of a possible executive order. Ultimately, the governor did not agree to issue the order.

    Did you encounter any obstacles and if so, how did you address them?

    In Delaware there is a very active and outspoken group that denies that climate change is caused by human activities and claims that mitigation and adaptation efforts are uneconomical and inconsistent with the Constitution. The group is well funded by a "public education" organization, the Caesar Rodney Institute. The League has countered this by submitting opinion pieces to local newspapers, responding to misinformation with letters-to-the-editor, sponsored public information meetings on renewable energy and sea level rise, and appeared at a number of public hearings to testify in support of energy efficiency measures, renewable energy, and state-level mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change.

    Lessons learned?

    Since the governor is a Democrat who has brought some strong environmental leaders into his administration, and since Democrats have majorities in Delaware's House and Senate, we thought we had a good chance to get a strong and comprehensive plan adopted. The timing for our meeting with the governor was not ideal, however, as the governor was up for re-election later that year (2012). It's likely that the Tea Party and concerns about the economy also had an impact.

    On the other hand, the effort was useful in bringing a large number of organizations together to work for a common cause. This should be helpful for future campaigns.

    For further information, please contact the LWV Delaware and/or Chad Tolman: ctolman141(at)gmail.com