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Health, Science & Environment

NASCAR Driver Leilani Munter Advocates for Clean Energy in Utah

Andrea Smardon
Leilani Munter gives autographs to employees at 3form in West Valley City, UT. (Sept. 21, 2015)

Environmental activist and NASCAR driver Leilani Munter is in Utah, talking about her efforts to fight climate change. She’s speaking Tuesday night at the University of Utah as part of a series called Trailblazers of Clean Energy.

Leilani Munter is a walking billboard for clean energy. Her racecar is covered with alternative energy sponsors, and her pitbox is even solar-powered. When she’s not on the racetrack, she’s a proud Tesla driver.

“I have solar panels on my roof, I’ve got net-metering, I’m producing more power than I’m pulling from the grid,” Munter says. “So you know, I’m powering not only my Tesla, but also my home off of free solar electrons that land on my roof every morning. It’s an incredible feeling of freedom.”

Primarily, Munter’s message in Utah is one of hope. She says when she started talking about these issues 10 years ago, it was an uphill battle, but now she is seeing major shifts toward more solar power and electric cars.

“I started taking my electric car to all of my races last year. I’ve had such a positive response. I mean people get to the racetrack, and they’re more interested in seeing my Tesla than they are in seeing my racecar. There’s 43 other race cars there, but I’m the only one showing up with a model S!” Munter says. “People are ready for it. They really are. I feel really good about our future.”

Munter is speaking at the University of Utah’s SJ Quinney College of Law at 7 tonight. Her talk is sponsored by the U’s Office of Sustainability and Utah Clean Energy.

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