Comment Period: Clean Energy Incentive Program

The Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) description.Watch for articles in local papers as openings for responsive Letters to the Editor.

On June 16, 2016 the EPA announced an incentive plan of early action credits for energy efficiency and zero-emitting renewable energy generation, with double credits for work in low income communities.   The in-person hearings were in Chicago this summer, and the comment period has just been extended to November 1.  PA IPL is always glad to see work in environmental justice communities recognized and prioritized. We are always concerned about the potential for “hot spots” under any allowances program.

It is worth knowing that states can only claim these credits once they have submitted a state plan under the Clean Power Plan (CPP), so PA will be missing credits opportunities every day that we delay.  Credits or allowances can be a problem for some kinds of emissions.  Locally-acting toxics (such as mercury) can create emissions hotspots in environmental justice (EJ) areas, so we checked in with people who study energy and toxics policy. Because the CPP regulates carbon emissions which are a harm to all, but are not an immediate local harm, this kind of hot-spot issue is less of a concern here — particularly because this incentive program will not create new coal plants. The CEIP does have the potential to get us moving much faster, which is vital — especially for the poor and vulnerable. In the best case, incentivizing early action would also shift markets to favor more and faster zero-emissions action, and that would speed coal plant retirements generally.

Sign IPL’s letter to EPA Administrator McCarthy supporting the CEIP, or submit comments of your own (DEADLINE: November 1, 2016).

Read the press release from IPL national.

Scroll down for a reprint of the letter from the policy director of Faith in Place (home of Illinois IPL), following the CEIP hearings in Chicago:

As the policy director of Faith in Place, the Illinois affiliate of Interfaith Power & Light, I’ve seen how the fossil fuel industry harms the people of Illinois. From high rates of asthma, cancer, and heart disease in communities near coal-fired power plants to the flooding, heatwaves, and wildfires affecting people from Louisiana to California, it’s clear that the health and safety of all people are jeopardized by our continued dependence on dirty fossil fuels.

That’s why I’m asking you to support Clean Energy Justice.

At a packed EPA hearing in Chicago this month, I joined with dozens of other clergy and people of faith to call on the EPA to strengthen its plan for clean energy, and to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency in economically challenged communities. But we need your help to amplify our efforts.

The EPA is accepting public comments on their proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). Part of the Clean Power Plan, the CEIP is a “matching fund” program that helps states invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that are implemented in disadvantaged communities. It helps states meet their Clean Power Plan goals while encouraging access to clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.
Let the EPA know you support this program. Click here to send an email to them today.

Economically challenged communities are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts, and must be prioritized in discussions for climate solutions.

As people of faith, we are called to care for the Earth and also to work for environmental justice.

Here in Illinois, our Interfaith Power & Light affiliate works in many of the communities most impacted by pollution from power plants. In Chicago we are seeing the human face of power plant pollution, from asthma to cancer to heart disease. We have a moral obligation to prioritize the benefits of the Clean Power Plan to these communities first.

And we know there is no time to waste if we want to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.

The faith voice needs to be heard: Please join me in urging the EPA to swiftly adopt the CEIP and expand renewable energy – starting with the communities that need it most.

Rev. Vance Booker; Faith in PlaceIn faith,
Rev. Booker Steven Vance, Policy Director
Faith in Place, the Illinois affiliate of Interfaith Power & Light

MORALtorium remarks: Today is a Call to Action.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.13.38 AMSister Pat Lupo was recently recognized by PennFuture.  The Benedictines of Erie are among the religious communities that have signed the Paris Pledge, committing to do their part to cut emissions. These are Sister Pat’s remarks from the Capitol Rotunda on March 21.

My name is Pat Lupo, I‘m a Benedictine Sister from Erie. I believe that Faith Communities are called to demonstrate their commitment to environmental action and to do it in partnership with environmental organizations, local communities, and civic and government entities.

This earth that we live on, our air and our water is sacred.  We have a moral obligation to care for the planet, to act for the well-being of future generations and for Continue reading MORALtorium remarks: Today is a Call to Action.

MORALtorium remarks: Adam and Eve, herons and loons… and fracking?

Photo credit: Sam Berhardt

PA IPL board president Rabbi Daniel Swartz was one of many leaders, from several different faiths, who spoke as part of a full day calling for a “moral-torium” on new fracking in Pennsylvania.  His remarks were delivered in the Capitol Rotunda.

This is perfect setting for talking about a moral framework for our relation to our planet and to each other.  On the steps into the capitol, we see two depictions of Adam and Eve – one where they are in harmony with the garden and life is full of blessing, and one of conflict, leading to tragedy.  On the floor surrounding us are mosaic depictions of butterflies and blue herons, snapping turtles and loons – feathered ones that is.  And above, the quote:  Justice is the end of government.

But we have neither harmony with creation nor justice. Instead, we’re being fracked.  Frackers inject a toxic stew of chemicals into the earth to split apart shale. And too many forces today Continue reading MORALtorium remarks: Adam and Eve, herons and loons… and fracking?