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!
The Philly Chapter of PA IPL meets each month on second Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM EST via Zoom. The next meeting will be held on October 12th:
“Bomb Trains” through Philadelphia Transporting Fracked Gas to Gibbstown, NJ What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
The Gibbstown Liquefied Natural Gas [or LNG] Export Terminal is proposed for a deep water port on the Delaware River, south of Philadelphia and north of Chester in Greenwich Twp., NJ. The project’s footprint begins in the Marcellus shale in northcentral PA where shale gas would be extracted from fracked wells, then liquefied at a plant they want to build in Bradford County. From the proposed plant in Wyalusing Twp., PA, trains and trucks would carry the LNG about 200 miles through dozens of communities including densely populated Wilkes Barre, Reading, and Allentown, through Philadelphia neighborhoods, across the Delaware River to New Jersey and south through Camden and other communities. From the proposed terminal dock, the LNG would be transported in enormous ships down the Delaware and overseas for sale.
Up to two 100-tankcar trains per day would traverse Philadelphia – trains that are so dangerous that the federal government banned their use for LNG transport up to now. They are referred to as “bomb trains” because the explosive force of the LNG should there be an accident would impact all the City, with the most intense and swiftest catastrophic effects along the train route, unjustly impacting Black and Brown and low income communities.
Our presenter, Tracy Carluccio, is Deputy Director and a founder of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), a non-profit founded in 1989 with the mission of protecting and defending the Delaware River, its tributaries, habitats, and communities, both human and nonhuman. DRN is one of the organizations leading the fight against the Gibbstown LNG terminal and the bomb trains that would supply it. Tracy will be talking about the LNG project, its adverse impacts, the potential for disaster, how something so dangerous got approval, and what can be done now to stop it.