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American Futures

A Renewable Energy Revolution in Small-Town America

Nov 03, 2016 | 7 videos
Video by The Atlantic

A move towards sustainable energy is often talked about as an issue for big government, especially during the 2016 election. However, across the United States, progress is being made in biofuel, wind, and solar power at the grassroots. Atlantic national correspondent James Fallows and contributing writer Deborah Fallows travelled to Pennsylvania, California, and Kansas to see how these ventures are moving the nation away from fossil fuels from the bottom-up. In Spearville, Kansas, for example, wind turbines are driving the economy. “Out here, anything under 20 miles per hour is a breeze,” says Kevin Heeke, the town’s mayor. “The wind turbines generate electricity and ship all of it back east.”

This documentary was produced for American Futures, an ongoing reporting project from James and Deborah Fallows. The couple has spent three years exploring small town America by air, “taking seriously places that don’t usually get registered seriously.”

Authors: Nicolas Pollock, James Fallows, Deborah Fallows

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Portraits of change and resilience in American communities