This week, my first book – “Rural Renaissance,” published by Island Press – arrived in bookstores everywhere. It offers a practical, and I hope inspirational, roadmap for using clean power to revitalize our hometowns. It also coincides with a wave of investment in rural power that America hasn’t seen in a hundred years.
Back in the 1930s, it was all about bringing electricity to the farm. Today, it’s about transforming our energy systems with clean, local power while investing in community resilience. The Inflation Reduction Act was only just signed into law, but the many ways it can help return health, wealth, and prosperity to small towns and rural communities – previously left behind – are already apparent. Plus, every dollar it helps put back in people’s pockets fights back against what inflation has done to our household budgets:
- Rebates and tax credits to help make homes more efficient, which is especially important for rural counties that bear the highest energy burdens in the US.
- Tax credits for purchasing a new or a used electric vehicle (EV), which help cut upfront costs and save on fuel for rural residents who have to drive further to get anywhere.
- Expanded tax credits for solar and energy storage projects in hard-hit and under-resourced communities, like rural areas that have historically depended on coal mining for jobs.
- Grants for rural solar and resilience that can help farmers and rural businesses become energy independent.
In addition to laying out America’s energy landscape, my book covers how to deliver energy efficiency, solar, energy storage and resilience, EV, and broadband programs that serve rural communities and small towns – each with inspiring stories about the courageous innovation happening all across rural America today. While the federal government can provide funding and set the rules of the road that help markets grow, local innovation is what makes revitalization happen. I wrote “Rural Renaissance” to help people like me who want to use this opportunity to make our small towns, hometowns, and rural communities places where everyone can thrive.
If that’s you, or someone you know, or if you just want to learn about what can happen when rural power meets clean power, I’d like to invite you to use the promo code RURAL to receive 20% off when you order your copy of the book through Island Press.
I hope to get the chance to talk with you about revitalizing our hometowns during one of the many local events I’ll be joining in rural communities across the country in the months ahead.