Tell your Senators Climate Can’t Wait!

Please take a moment to write to your Senators. Below is the template email to your members of Congress. Feel free to edit the letter on the next page before you send it, personalized letters are more effective.

Dear Senator,
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.

Transformations: Reaching for “Energy Independence”

The Reality under the Mirage

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.

Read the full article here:
Reaching “Energy Independence” The Reality Under the Mirage

As we enter an election cycle this year, keep the existential crisis of climate change in mind.  Ask your candidates their position. Vote for our survival.
Live in harmony with nature

Patricia M. DeMarco, Ph.D.
www.patriciademarco.com
Author: “Pathways to Our Sustainable Future-  Global Perspective from Pittsburgh”

Now Available: Video of Philly IPL Chapter’s April 12th Program!

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!

Feeling pain at the pump? Here’s what you can do:

Energy Independence Requires Clean Energy

Gas prices have skyrocketed and American families are paying the price.

Despite raking in record profits in 2021, the oil and gas industry is exploiting the crisis in Ukraine by pushing out misinformation to line their pockets and gain a free pass to drill for more fossil fuels.

There’s something you can do. Sign this petition.

Most of the big oil and gas companies posted huge profits in 2021, the highest profits seen in years. Yet, they are driving up energy costs for families with higher prices for gasoline, home heating oil and other energy. Even with US oil and gas production nearing record levels, Americans haven’t been spared from volatile fossil fuel prices.

No one should be profiting from a war, but that’s exactly what the fossil fuel companies are trying to do. And while big oil and gas get richer, Americans get more hurricanes, floods, wildfires and heatwaves, made worse by intensifying climate change.

Clean energy, not more oil and gas, will protect Americans from the volatile and dangerous fossil fuel economy. Wind, solar, and other renewable sources, are homegrown and create good-paying jobs here in the US. We don’t need to import it and it is not subject to the wild fluctuations of the global fossil fuel markets and supply chain disruptions. The clean energy and climate provisions under consideration in Congress would reduce annual US. oil consumption by 180 million barrels per year by 2030–roughly twice current US imports of Russian oil.

You actually can make a difference in this debate by signing this petition to Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Sign now.

If members of Congress and the Biden administration are serious about energy security and energy independence, they need to say no to more fossil fuels no matter where they come from.

We’ll be delivering thousands of petitions to Congress who can act to reduce prices on things our families need. Make sure your name is on the list. Sign here.

Now Available: Video of Philly IPL Chapter’s March 8th Program!

Philadelphia’s Community Health Act Will Address Environmental Injustice

Any plans to address climate change and shift our economy to clean energy must consider the impacts that burning fossil fuels and production of other industrial pollutants have had on the health and well-being of Philadelphians. Policies must redress this environmental injustice. The March meeting of PA IPL’s Philadelphia Chapter addresses this topic. Our guest, Andres Celin, Outreach Director for City Councilmember Helen Gym, discusses the proposed Community Health Act and the impact it could have addressing pollution and health threats in urban communities.

Andres Celin Bio:
Andres Celin has spent a decade working in education, youth development, social services, and community organizing in the Latino community in North Philadelphia. He is currently the Outreach Director for City Councilmember Helen Gym and is a Certified Trauma-informed Trainer/Practitioner with Lakeside Global Institute. Prior to his current role, Andres was the Lead Organizer at Youth United for Change, where he worked to develop the political leadership of young people in Kensington. He has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Haverford College, and a Master in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

Community Health Act Description:
Councilmember Gym has introduced legislation aimed at redressing the environmental injustices suffered by Black and Brown communities historically overburdened by pollution. The Community Health Act would require the identification and mapping of ‘environmental justice communities’ based on past, present, and future pollution, environmental stressors, health vulnerabilities, and demographic factors. Any permits for industrial use in or near these communities would require the City to conduct a “cumulative impact assessment” that looks at the actual impact of pollution in context before granting an approval — and empower the City to require mitigating steps to prevent harm.

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The Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL is very active. Chapter volunteers plan workshops, services, and work in coalition with many other groups bringing faith voices to climate justice and clean energy transition efforts, and they bring climate justice voices to faith work. Their monthly meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM, and are open to everyone. Particular meetings may focus either on planning or on a particular program.

Build Back Fossil Free, 2022 Letter to President Biden

Dear President Biden,

As organizations collectively representing millions of members and supporters, including Indigenous, Black, Brown, and frontline communities, we urge you to use your executive authority to speed the end of the fossil fuel era, protect our communities from the climate emergency, and address the severe harms caused by fossil fuels.

Your first year in office was marked by historic climate disasters, another alarming surge in domestic greenhouse gas emissions, and increasingly dire warnings from the leading scientists around the world. From hurricanes and floods, to wildfires and droughts, tens of millions of Americans are directly confronting the dangerous consequences of a warming world. Indigenous, Black, Brown, AAPI and working-class communities are disproportionately harmed not only by fossil-fueled extreme weather, but also targeted by oil, gas, and coal corporations and suffer the health impacts of toxic pollution and ongoing environmental injustices.

You have repeatedly identified the existential threat posed by climate change, calling it a “code red” for humanity, and stated in your first week in office, “In my view, we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. We can’t wait any longer.”

You further promised “environmental justice will be at the center of all we do addressing the disproportionate health and environmental and economic impacts on communities of color — so-called ‘fenceline communities’.” And you elevated the respect of Indigenous sovereignty and ordered federal agencies to strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Tribes.

These statements must be backed up by bolder action. You have the authority under existing law to wind down fossil fuel production and catalyze a just, renewable energy revolution to deliver healthier communities, a livable future, and millions of good-paying jobs. It’s critical that you use that authority as quickly and broadly as possible.

Together, we call on you to take these steps:
— Follow through on your promise to ban all new oil and gas leasing, drilling, and fracking on federal lands and waters.
— Direct federal agencies to stop approving fossil fuel projects, including pipelines, import and export terminals, storage facilities, refineries, and petrochemical plants. Direct the Department of Energy to halt gas exports to the full extent authorized by law.
— Declare a climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act , unlocking special powers to reinstate the crude oil export ban, redirect disaster relief funds toward distributed renewable energy construction in frontline communities and marshal companies to fast-track renewable transportation and clean power generation, creating millions of high-quality union jobs.

The U.S. must contribute its fair share to the global effort to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with what science, justice, and equity demand. Your administration’s legislative and regulatory climate proposals have not addressed limiting the production and burning of fossil fuels, the main driver of climate change. As fossil fuel lobbyists and politicians continue to block real climate action in Congress, bold executive action is desperately needed.

President Biden, you are the chief executive with immense powers to address our communities’ concerns.

You showed what serious climate leadership could look like in your first week in office when you canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and paused oil and gas leasing on federal lands. The urgency of the moment requires you to return to that original ambition. Fully deliver on your climate and environmental justice promises by using your executive authority to keep fossil fuels in the ground and build a resilient and affordable renewable energy system.