The Oberlin Review

REC Profit to go Toward Sustainable Reserve Program

REC Profit to go Toward Sustainable Reserve Program

November 10, 2017

The constituents of Oberlin voted in favor of depositing revenue made through Renewable Energy Credits into a Sustainable Reserve Program in Tuesday’s election. Oberlin earns RECs by utilitzing renewable energy sources to generate electricity, the collection and sale of which has garnered the city more than $2 million in revenue. Issues 16 and 17 on the ballot addressed how to handle this profit made specifically through sustainably generated electricity. Issue 16 would put all money from the...

RECs Resolution Not Based on Compromise

Charles Peterson, Oberlin Resident

April 7, 2017

Filed under Uncategorized

To the Editors: As a former member of the Oberlin City Council, I appreciate the effort of The Oberlin Review to report on local community issues, such as last week’s article headlined “Local Petitions Challenge REC Choice Fund Options” (March 31, 2017). However, both the headline and the story miss the point of the petitions. The issue the petitioners want to put on the November ballot is whether 85 percent of the money the City earned from trading its renewable energy certificates should be used for “community-based, utility-related, environmentally-friendly initiatives,” as City Council determined in passing the Sustainable Reserve Program Ordinance in 2007, or instead diverted into an artificial reductio...

Local Petitions Challenge REC Choice Fund Options

Jenna Gyimesi

March 31, 2017

Filed under Community News, NEWS, Recent Stories

Local community members are pushing to overturn a recent initiative that would give city residents the option of donating revenue from renewable energy back to the city. A committee of city residents created two petitions that, if passed, would put the city’s Community Choice Fund back on next year’s ballot. The fund allows residents to donate their share of the city’s Renewable Energy Credits back to the City to invest in further sustainable energy projects. Last year, City Council decided that Oberlin would return 85 percent of the proceeds from the sale of RECs to city residents and give 15 percent of the proceeds to sustainability projects, which comes out to around $100 per year for each resident. Renewable...

Community, Council Mulls Divisive Renewable Energy Credits

Community, Council Mulls Divisive Renewable Energy Credits

February 10, 2017

Oberlin residents will now get to decide for themselves how their share of the city’s Renewable Energy Credits should be spent. Following a divisive resolution made last August to redistribute 85 percent of the $2.6 million the city earned in Renewable Energy Credits to the city’s ratepayers, City Council decided Monday night in a unanimous vote to create the Community Choice Fund, which ratepayers will be able to return all or part of their rebate to. RECs are certificates that prove a...

Until Next Time: What’s to Come Next Semester

Tyler Sloan, News Editor

December 12, 2015

Filed under Campus News, Community News, NEWS

Strategic Plan: College President Marvin Krislov said that a final draft of the Strategic Plan will be published in March. The Steering Committee released a draft, titled Oberlin College Strategic Plan 2016-2021: Shaping the Future, on Tuesday, Oct. 26, which was met with student concern regarding ambiguous language and future plans. City Manager: Interim City Manager Sal Talarico will take over for outgoing City Manager Eric Norenberg when he leaves for a new management position in Milford, Delaware on Jan. 1. Talarico will serve as interim manager until the Council selects a permanent replacement by April. Between the World and Me Dinner and Discussion: The Lewis House and Religious Life Center will host a dinner and ...

REC Reinvestment Upholds Oberlin’s Commitment to Sustainability

Editorial Board

November 20, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

The most pressing issue facing newly-elected City Council members is the allocation of Renewable Energy Certificates, a benefit of Oberlin’s EPA Green Power Partnership. RECs were originally intended to be reinvested in renewable energy and carbon reduction initiatives for communities to expand their green energy portfolio and abandon fossil fuels as energy sources. In 2007, the city decided to sell RECs to expand sustainable initiatives as part of its involvement with the Clinton Climate Initiative. According to the minutes from the Oct. 19 Council Work Session, City Council expects 2015 REC proceeds to total $776,000, bringing the full sum to $1.76 million. By the end of the 2016 calendar year, the projected net total o...

Council Delays REC Discussion Until Late December

Oliver Bok and Tyler Sloan

November 20, 2015

Filed under Community News, NEWS

Oberlin’s City Council decided to table the issue of how to allocate $800,000 in Renewable Energy Credits until late December following weeks of tense debate. At Council’s weekly meeting on Monday, City Council President Scott Broadwell suggested that the group reconvene on the issue during a work session on Dec. 21. Council members are debating three options for how to spend the RECs. The first option would return 85 percent of the sales to the Sustainable Reserve Fund and 15 percent to ratepayers. Conversely, Council could decide to give 85 percent of the sales to ratepayers and the remainder to the Sustainable Reserve Fund. The third option puts the onus on ratepayers to decide whether to give the money to...

Green Energy Credits Should Be Spent Investing in Future

Charles Peterson, Oberlin resident

October 30, 2015

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: The Oct. 19 City Council work session [on] Oberlin’s Renewable Energy Credits was a clear demonstration of the differences in vision among Oberlin’s City Council. The issue at hand is what to do with the hundreds of thousands of dollars in green energy credits earned by the city. This was a policy started in earnest in 2007 with City Council’s decision to sell RECs. This initiative is designed to generate revenue to contribute to the expansion of Oberlin’s sustainable energy initiative as members of the Clinton Climate Initiative. Before the Council is a proposal presented by the staff of Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System for a “rebate” back to the average citizen of, at this coun...

RECs Best Used by Returning to Utility Customers

Tony Mealy, Oberlin resident, member of PUC

October 30, 2015

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editor: Oberlin Renewable Energy Credits should be distributed wisely. Based on the REC revenue update provided by the [Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System] Director this past week, there will be approximately $2.5 million in proceeds to the electric utility by the end of 2016. There will also be over $310,000 in the underutilized Sustainable Reserve Fund, which will continue to add $20,000 each year from Oberlin College. Based on these figures and the recommendation of the OMLPS director, the Public Utility Commission chairman and this member, 85 percent or $2.125 million should be returned to the electric utility customers. Of this amount, $530,000 or 25 percent would be returned to Oberlin College, the la...

Student Vote Critical for REC Investment Decision

Carl McDaniel, OC ’64, Visiting Professor, Oberlin City Public Utilities Commissioner

October 30, 2015

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

To the Editors: A major issue of concern to Oberlin students is now before City Council: what to do with several million dollars earned from exchanging renewable energy credits. A bit of history is informative. In 2008, four newly-elected Council members, elected in part because of student votes, caused the city to reverse the action of the previous Council that had committed the city to a 50-year contract guaranteeing continued reliance on coal-based electricity. Council’s action then not only switched Oberlin’s dependence on coal to “green” sources of electricity but also earned the city many RECs. Three incumbent candidates running for City Council today — Soucy, Broadwell, Rimbert — voted then ...

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