Power a Clean Future Ohio (PCFO), a nonpartisan coalition of cities in Ohio dedicated to helping local communities transition from pollution-generating energy sources to renewable energy, is leading the charge to make the Buckeye State cleaner and greener for all of its residents. With the recent addition of the refinery town of Lima, the PCFO now has 10 cities signed on including Cincinnati, Dayton, and Lancaster. The organization’s work is closely aligned with the new federal initiatives and programs designed to expand and power wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower research and development.
Founded last year, PCFO works to ensure that Ohio takes only steps forward toward a renewable future. The coalition understands that Ohio’s economy and the health of its citizens depend on a new approach to clean energy. This new approach focuses on investment and coaching initiatives for all coalition cities with the goal of reducing carbon emissions throughout the state in both big and small ways that make sense specifically for that location. The basic mission is to work with local leaders to develop and implement proven climate solutions. A team of specialists consults with each community to identify opportunities to reduce carbon in a way that is also cost-effective (and even cost reductive) for the city and its inhabitants. For example, in Lima, Clean Fuels Ohio will help evaluate the fleet of vehicles the city uses and offer recommendations to make those cars and trucks more sustainable. The partnership comes at no cost to the town, which makes it easier for small locales to get involved.
The entire state and even some national organizations have teamed up with PCFO to ensure its success. Its supporters range from numerous chambers of commerce to the Sierra Club, Audubon Great Lakes, Black Environmental Leaders, the Nature Conservancy Ohio, and the Conservative Energy Forum. These partnerships, along with future federal grants, will help cities like Lima make the shift to clean energy.
“This work is building a foundation for future economic growth. Businesses all across the country are looking to invest in communities that are embracing a clean energy transition,” explained PCFO Executive Director Joe Flarida. “More business investment in the community means family-supporting jobs, better schools, and a stable future for…residents.”
In a state where 70 percent of the pollution comes from city centers and children’s asthma rates are extraordinarily high, renewable energy sources are the key to a brighter future. PCFO’s focus on equitable, community-driven carbon reductions is building momentum by equipping leaders – in both big cities and small towns – with the tools and resources they need to create carbon reduction plans and implement them in ways that are achievable, measurable, equitable, and economical for all Ohioans.
PCFO is a perfect example of a coalition taking advantage of the federal government’s new focus on sustainability. If local, state, national, and international leaders continue to invest in the new administration’s offerings, the world could trim as much as 25 percent from its expected 2030 emissions. The new federal energy package, passed in December 2020, includes roughly $4 billion for solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal research and development; $1.7 billion to help low-income families install renewable energy sources in their homes; $2.6 billion for the Energy Department’s sustainable transportation program and $500 million for research on reducing industrial emissions. PCFO is just one of many groups working in tandem with these new programs to help America transition to a cleaner, sustainable infrastructure.