Why be optimistic about Buncombe County sustainability in 2019?

Jeremiah LeRoy
Jeremiah LeRoy, Buncombe County's sustainability officer. Photo courtesy of Buncombe County

What were the top reasons from 2019 to be hopeful about Buncombe County’s sustainability? Jeremiah LeRoy, the county’s sustainability officer, weighed in with five causes for optimism from the past year.

  1. The Goals: We’re fortunate to have leadership at the highest levels of the county and the city that has adopted aggressive goals and continues to push 100% clean energy for our community.
  2. The Progress: A great deal of work has been done. Between the accomplishments of the EITF [Energy Innovation Task Force] to avoid the new [Duke Energy gas-fired] peaker plant and the work to get solar on public facilities and land, we have a lot to be proud of and a lot to build on for the future.
  3. The Passion: We live in a community that cares about these issues. They will continue to push staff and elected officials to make the investments necessary to reach our goals. They won’t let us rest — and that’s a good thing.
  4. The Work: 2019 was a foundational year for a lot of our clean energy work. 2020 is shaping up to be the first year we will make significant headway in the actual construction of renewables for the county.
  5. The Choice: The gravity of these issues can feel overwhelming at times. The stakes are so very high. But given all of the reasons stated above, I make the choice to be optimistic and hopeful for our future in Buncombe County. I hope that the folks reading this choose to do the same.
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