By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter –
This story first appeared online on Dec. 12, 2020.
OKLAHOMA CITY – On Monday, December 7, as part of its monthly meeting, the Norman Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt a resolution that puts Norman Public Schools on a path to becoming one of America’s few carbon neutral school districts.
As Norman moves towards 100 percent renewable energy, Sarah Chan, chair of Solar Schools Norman (SSN), called the board’s vote a “first step in the pursuit to offset 100 percent of the district’s energy use and cost.”
All five board members voted in favor of the resolution.
Adoption of the Renewable Energy Resolution, pledges that Norman Public Schools will “continue efforts toward increasing the use of abundant, affordable, clean, renewable energy,” a pursuit which is in line with, and an outgrowth of, the City of Norman’s adoption of a Ready for 100 resolution in May of 2018, according to the press release.
Karen Blasier, chair of the Red Earth Group of Oklahoma Sierra Club and co-coordinator of Ready for 100 Norman, stated, “In May of 2018 the City of Norman passed a resolution, drafted by RF100 with the support of the community, that the City would strive to achieve obtaining 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2035.
“I am so impressed with the work that this committee has done over the past year and a half,” Blasier continued. “They are a group of dedicated volunteers from diverse backgrounds who have come together and worked tirelessly towards a goal of having an on-site solar installation at every public school in Norman.
“The passage of the resolution is one more step towards achieving that goal and the larger goal of transitioning Norman to 100 percent renewable energy,” Blasier said.
RF100 co-coordinator Adrienne Gautier posted on Facebook, “Congratulations RF100 Solar Schools Norman for your hard work to make the Norman Public Schools Renewable Energy Resolution a reality. Special thanks to Sarah Chan and Laura Vaughan for your leadership and your advocacy over the past year and a half. We want to thank the Norman Board of Education for passing this resolution unanimously this evening. Job well done to all.”
The Ready for 100 campaign is a national bipartisan effort to move toward renewable energy by 2035. The movement is dedicated to an equitable vision of resilient and healthy communities powered by 100 percent clean, renewable energy for all.
“Last night was historic and the culmination of a year and a half of negotiations between the Solar Schools Norman Team and Norman Public Schools,” said Chan.
The Solar Schools Norman team, which was behind the creation, writing and adoption of the new Renewable Energy Resolution by the school board, is a sub-committee of the Norman RF100 Coalition.