George Carlin was made famous for his 7 Dirty Words. But when it comes to meeting our electricity demands of the 21st century, we can add another word whose utterance should cause shock and outrage to the general public: NIMBY.
NIMBY (“Not in My Backyard”) is the genesis for much of the opposition to various endeavors that would serve the public, such as improving the electrical grid.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has just released an updated report on the state of transmission projects across the country, called Project No Project. It highlights 21 transmission projects that are delayed or have been stopped outright due to overly burdensome regulations and lawsuits by NIMBY-ers.
NIMBY-ism costs jobs and harms economic growth. It prevents the deployment of the Smart Grid, which will finally put consumers in control of their electricity use. It endangers our energy security. It leaves massive amounts of energy efficiency on the shelf.
It’s a dirty word for another reason too. Why? Many of these transmission projects are designed to deliver clean, American renewable energy, which virtually everyone agrees is part of the solution to our dependence on foreign sources of energy and to diversifying our energy portfolio with clean alternatives.
When invoked, NIMBY-ism prevents us from bringing online the clean energy resources of the future, competing in a global economy, and improving the quality of life for Americans. A very bad word, indeed.