Utility shutoffs should be a rallying cry for justice

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Contributed date

October 29, 2020 - 5:31pm

Critical Commentary

In much a continued theme throughout the pandemic, utility shutoffs threaten and have negatively impacted many families across the United States. Without any jobs or assistance to pay for high energy bills, which continue to pile on as we are inevitably forced to stay inside, many families face the ongoing threat of having their utilities disconnected. With the foregoing, also comes a threat to health, sanitation, as many need to refrigerate their medicine (insulin and whatnot), may need to use an electrically-powered medical device and need sanitation to bathe themseleves and wash their hands. It is all life-threatening, particularly when washing one's hands is one of the steps to avoid contracing COVID-19. The article states the pandemic only aggravated an already precarious situation, particularly considering energy prices were already high prior to the current pandemic and, actually, were the product of energy companies' continued investment in fossil fuels rather than renewable energy sources, which are now cheaper to use. The articles calls for better plans to secure lower energy costs, energy efficiency, and green energy, mainly as ways to reduce the energy burden on American families, but also to improve the air quality both inside and outside households to protect our lungs, first attacked by the virus. We can think about this article in terms of discussions by Petrova & Prodromidou (2019), but also in terms energy justice and energy rights. Current frameworks do not codify for energy governance as much as we would like, perhaps discussions on moratoria, on energy provisions and transitions should continue in order to spark significant change, particularly change that interests the energy burdened classes.


Hitt, M. A. (2020, October 27). Utility shutoffs should be a rallying cry for justice. The Hill. Retrieved from https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/522999-utility-shutoffs-s...

Cite as

Marie Anne Hitt, "Utility shutoffs should be a rallying cry for justice", contributed by Briana Leone, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 29 October 2020, accessed 21 April 2024. https://energyrights.info/content/utility-shutoffs-should-be-rallying-cry-justice