UPDATE November 2016: Governor Wolf announced that the port would be used to double the container shipping capacity of the port, and not for fossil fuel processing or handling.
A coalition group that Philadelphia PA IPL is a founding and active member of, Green Justice Philly, has been actively engaging at multiple levels (public meetings, written testimony, conversations with leaders, and more) with the conversations about how Southport will be developed. What happens now commits that area to particular kinds of use for a long time, and we want it to be safe for nearby residents, to provide good, safe jobs, and to not add to the fossil fuel infrastructure which further chains us to the energy sources of the last century. (Some of you may know that there is some exciting work happening in Philadelphia ports that is helping us move forward into the clean energy future we want, but that’s another entity at another site.) Last night there was a public hearing on the issue, PACKED because of outreach by active and concerned folks.
There’s a corner of Philadelphia that’s under-developed. It’s at the south east tip of our city, along the Delaware River, calledSouthport. It’s managed by a state agency called the PRPA (Philadelphia Regional Port Authority).
In southwest Philadelphia, there’s an oil refinery owned and managed by Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES). For the past year or so, the CEO of PES, Phil Rinaldi, has been proposing expanding their operations into Southport, with the vision of Philadelphia becoming the Houston on the Delaware. For a full coverage of this plan, see our collection of local fossil fuel news.
Many (no, make that countless) Philadelphian’s are terrified with this vision. Some groups have publicly expressed their positions; notably see published letters from Green Justice Philly, Philadelphia chapter of PA Interfaith Power & Light andPhysicians for Social Responsibility of Greater Philadelphia.
The PRPA team has been reviewing proposals for Southport’s development and narrowed it down to 6 companies. Their RFP (Request for Proposals) and other public documents can be found here. In brief,
- CenterPoint Properties Trust wants to CONTINUE: