Great news! Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light has joined other organization across the state for a sign on regarding the passing of a bold reconciliation package that will help rebuild our manufacturing sector in ways that will deeply reduce emissions while building domestic supply chains and creating and protecting good union jobs for workers and disadvantaged communities.
Serious action is required to address climate change and strengthen the U.S. economy for all. The following provisions must be included in any negotiations around budget reconciliation as well as future climate infrastructure packages to ensure that the Appalachian region can create a thriving manufacturing renaissance in the region. We deserve it.
Appalachia can and should be a leader in the global economic race to modernize domestic manufacturing.
Several provisions key to building this future include:
Key investments to reduce climate pollution in emissions-intensive industries—such as cement, steel, and aluminum. We can reduce these emissions at scale by funding industrial efficiency measures and emissions reduction technology as well as broader supply chain programs.
Spurring domestic clean technology manufacturing through measures such as $25 billion in funding for 48C together along with new supply chain production tax credits that expand clean energy and technology manufacturing and onshore key supply chains.
Strong funding to strengthen the domestic automotive supply chain, protect workers and communities, and build the electric vehicle (EV) fleet of the future in Appalachia. This includes new funding for the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program and manufacturing conversion grants—together enabling over $20B in investments to retool automotive manufacturing to build the EV technology of the future in existing plants and communities.
Support Manufacturing Supply Chains and Manufacturing-Centered Economic Development. In addition to investments that support clean technology manufacturing expansion and retooling directly, it is also critical to ensure that we expand and fund the broader programs that provide the economic, technical, and workforce infrastructure and support to strengthen advanced manufacturing ecosystems and communities.
Ensure that clean energy deployment tax credits include labor and domestic content standards and support the retention and growth of domestic manufacturing and high-quality jobs.
These provisions would make a historic investment in the expansion and retooling of domestic clean energy, vehicle and component manufacturing, the transformation of our industrial sector to reduce emissions and enhance competitiveness, as well as the necessary efforts to build out robust supply chains for critical clean technologies—all while building family sustaining careers and investing in the communities that need it most.
Any reconciliation package should advance a sustainable economic vision for a 21st century Appalachia—one that is good for working people, communities, the environment and our health. Our communities have many assets, but a sustainable economic future can’t be achieved without significant public investment, strong policies, and responsible economic development approaches designed to maximize the benefit to the community as a whole.
As a person of faith and conscience, I believe that leaving a safe and thriving world to the next generation is a moral imperative. Climate change threatens the very life support systems that the planet provides. The issue could not be more urgent and we must invest now to shift off of fossil fuels and move rapidly to a clean energy economy.
I urge you to support big, bold investments in renewable energy, clean vehicles, environmental justice, and climate resilience by passing climate and clean energy investments through reconciliation. These investments will go a long way toward protecting our climate and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure to meet the demands of a 21st century economy. It will also invest in rebuilding communities that have borne the brunt of pollution for too long.
Congress has a historic opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Americans for generations to come. Please support the important climate elements of the budget reconciliation bill that will protect our world and secure a more just and prosperous future for all people.
Sincerely, [Your Name]
Let’s raise our collective voices and ensure our elected leaders get the $550 billion in climate and clean energy investments across the finish line. Email your senators and urge them to #GetClimateDone.
PA IPL would like to announce Patricia DeMarco, Ph.D.’s “Transformations” blog post for Earth Day and International Workers Day. It is framed on “Energy Independence”.
The full article with data is linked below. Here are some short excerpts:
Even as the calls of alarm for the rapid pace of global warming become more urgent, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has become the latest excuse to defer the energy system transformation to a renewable base. As long as the U.S. participates in an international marketplace where the price of the commodity is determined by global geo-political forces, the concept of energy independence has no real meaning.
The political will to move the legal and regulatory infrastructure to support this goal has not been mobilized, even though most Americans see climate change as an important issue. People fear the loss of jobs in the energy sector, without recognizing that the skills and capabilities of workers in this sector are readily transferable to the clean energy economy.
It is time to recognize the reality of our interdependence as human species to preserve the biodiversity of the planet and to restore the health of the ecosystems we depend on for our survival. Fresh water, clean air, and fertile ground support life on Earth as we know it. If we continue on this path, driven by greed and adherence to a fossil fueled economy, we will destroy ourselves, and all of the living Earth.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 5, 2022 – Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (PA IPL) is launching a new relationship with Juniata Park Academy and the Juniata Park neighborhood. Following up on a day long series of presentations for Earth Day, PA IPL is holding a tree planting event this Thursday, May 5th at the Juniata Park Academy campus of the School District of Philadelphia. Together with residents of the neighborhood we are planting trees and relaunching the vegetable garden to increase the tree canopy and provide fresh air and vegetables to the community. At PA IPL we believe every day is earth day and arbor day and that we have a moral obligation to be stewards of creation and to mitigate the effects of climate change. All of Philadelphia’s residents deserve clean air, access to fresh food, and a safe environment.
The Juniata Park neighborhood, and several surrounding it in North Philadelphia, compose the city’s largest heat sink, an area where urban density, building materials, and a lack of green space or tree canopy result in extreme heat far greater than surrounding neighborhoods and other sections of the city. This is a result of historical inequities based upon redlining and subsequent lack of investments. The significant heat difference results in the increased use of air conditioning, higher electrical use, and higher bills in a region with many lower income households. In addition to the numerous health impacts of heat, summer heat has also been shown to relate to higher crime rates while the absence of sufficient green space contributes to water runoff and flooding, a constant and increasing threat to our region during severe weather events and hurricanes exacerbated by climate change.
As climate change continues to cause more extreme summer temperatures heat related emergencies and deaths will become more common if measures are not taken to mitigate their effect on the community. Previously PA IPL worked together with Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability, Esperanza, and other partners in the Hunting Park neighborhood on the Beat the Heat Project. This project focused on community listening sessions and the establishment of community cooling stations and kits.
Together with the community we are taking steps to mitigate the effects of extreme heat and climate change built into the inequities of our society. Together we hope to expand these efforts beyond the campus to serve the entire community because climate can’t wait for frontline communities like Juniata Park which are being most immediately, significantly, and directly affected by climate today.
Location: Juniata Park Academy: 801 E Hunting Park Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19124 Dates: May 5th 3:00 – 4:30PM Our website www.paipl.us and social media
Can PGW Accelerate Philadelphia’s Clean Energy Transition?
The city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) acquires, stores, and distributes natural gas to churches, libraries, schools, industry, restaurants, other businesses, and residences in the city of Philadelphia. The gas is used for heating, hot water, cooking, and industrial processes. PGW employees install and repair the network of underground pipes that deliver gas to consumers. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a fossil fuel. When burned it produces CO2, the major greenhouse gas. When natural gas leaks along the way from well to consumer it contributes to global warming because methane itself is a significant greenhouse gas. Natural gas is a large part of Philadelphia’s carbon footprint.
In order to avoid ever worsening effects of climate change, the UN’s IPCC says we must cut in half our use of fossil fuels by 2030 and eliminate them entirely by 2050. What can and should be PGW’s response to this requirement? How do we wean Philadelphia from its natural gas addiction?
The discussion leader at our April PA IPL Philadelphia Chapter meeting is Mitch Chanin. Mitch is a long time Philadelphia climate activist. He was a leader in the opposition to SEPTA developing a gas-fired electric generating station in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia. Mitch is the co-chair of the Climate Justice Caucus at Reclaim Philadelphia and is also a member of Philly Thrive and Philly DSA. As a volunteer with POWER Interfaith, Mitch is a member of the PGW Just Transition campaign team and has presented testimony to the Philadelphia Gas Commission. We will be talking about the work that has gone on in this area and about the pros and cons of different options for reducing Philadelphia’s reliance on natural gas and encouraging the use of clean, renewable energy.
Sign up here if you would like to join the Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL!
Congregational and Institutional members of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light are the foundation upon which our collective climate justice mission stands. These communities are our community and vice versa. Though we are spread across the state and come from many different faith traditions we are united in our belief that together our collective voice and actions address the real, moral, and pressing issues of climate change and that we as people of faith must take action and lead others towards a just and equitable transition toward a better future we describe as climate justice.
At this first Congregational Meeting, we meet in the spirit of this fellowship to reconnect, provide updates on upcoming opportunities, present our 2021 Visionary Award, and distribute our Congregational Toolkit. Opportunities include our upcoming annual bike and hike, hands on programs in creation care, chances to speak truth to power through advocacy, and for collaborative and funded projects in your congregation which can engage and benefit your community. In future meetings we would love to invite your congregation to share about the wonderful work each of you are doing on the ground in your communities.