About 10 percent of Oak Park households opted into the green energy alternative offered by Constellation Energy. That’s about what the energy provider estimated when it offered a very attractive green rate. And what made them comfortable making the politically savvy green offer was what the company knew from experience — that inertia is the most powerful energy force of all.

Requiring even well-meaning people to find a letter, make a call, and match it up with a Com Ed account number is more than most will do, even if they believe themselves to be environmentalists. 

So after the Spring of Our Energy Angst we are left with a pedestrian response and a one-year contract that fully supports the brownest of energy sources — this in a month when a newly released study tells us global warming is already here, that sea water is coming up through the sewers in Miami, and that water is being rationed in California.

The message is that the citizens did not bail our village elected officials out by going green in huge numbers, but the electeds are going to need to lead from the front in keeping our village progressive on the environmental front. 

The village board needs to pursue its inquiry into how badly its energy consultant burned it in conducting a reverse energy auction, educate itself more fully on its energy options, and be fully ready to take Oak Park back to green energy when this short-term contract expires in a year.  

Not our finest hour. Not the end of the world (yet). But what did we learn and how will we make next year’s energy contract much stronger? That’s the issue.

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