Now Available: Video of Philly IPL Chapter’s September 13th Program!

Welcome Back!

After a summer break the Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL is looking forward to a busy and productive year addressing climate change in Pennsylvania and our Philadelphia region. At the PA IPL Philadelphia chapter meeting held on Tuesday evening September 13, we kickoff our 2022-23 year. PA IPL is the recipient this year of two grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as well as grant support from Interfaith Power & Light’s National office and Climate Action Campaign (CAC).

PA IPL’s Executive Director David Heayn-Menendez tells us about these grants and how Philadelphia area IPL members and congregations can get involved in this important work. We also share some advance information on PA IPL’s annual conference coming up in November. And with the so-called mid-term elections also in November, we provide information on IPL National’s Faith Climate Justice Voter project.

Sign up here if you would like to join the Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL!

Now Available: Video of Philly IPL Chapter’s May 10th Program!

Grant Funding for PA IPL’s Work in Philadelphia and Beyond

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light is the recipient this year of several grants to support the work it does across Pennsylvania, including projects that will have a beneficial impact in the Philadelphia region. At the PA IPL Philadelphia chapter meeting, Tuesday evening May 10, we hear about this year’s grant-funded work, what will be happening as part of this work in Philadelphia, the impact we can look forward to, and potential opportunities for individuals and congregations in this area to be involved. David Heayn-Menendez, PA IPL’s Executive Director, and Kathy Hrabovsky, PA IPL’s Development Associate and DEP Grant Project Manager, join us to discuss these opportunities for PA IPL to expand the work it does.

Sign up here if you would like to join the Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL!

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!

Now Available: Video of March 31st Climate, Justice, & Jobs Rally at Philadelphia City Hall

Climate Can’t Wait! Climate, Justice, and Jobs in Philadelphia – Rally at City Hall

Climate can’t wait. Not in our state and not in Philadelphia. People across the state want bold climate action to protect our common home. We need bold action that supports families in our communities and addresses core moral concerns. This includes the most significant climate and clean energy investments EVER – that will create jobs and protect clean air and clean water for all. We can’t let our communities suffer from polluted air and water any longer.

We have a moral responsibility as a nation, and a sacred task as people of faith, to care for our climate and to leave a safe and thriving world for future generations.

On Thursday, March 31 at 12:30pm, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light held a Climate, Justice, and Jobs Rally at the northwest corner of City Hall (JFK Blvd and S 15th Street).

Speakers include State Senator Sharif Street, Philadelphia Councilmember Helen Gym’s Office, Climate Action PA, Maurice Q. Jones from Par Recycle Works and more!

This is a time for action, to make our voices heard, and push our federal, state, and local officials to make investments in our health, jobs, and futures! Through petition signing, phone banking, and coalition building on the issues that matter most we will guide our community leaders to take action. Join us to learn about the PA legislators and local non-profits who are combating these inequities and how you can join us in the fight towards environmental justice and equity in Pennsylvania!

Now Available: Video of September’s PA IPL Philadelphia Chapter Program!

Cleaning Up Pennsylvania’s Electric Generation – Pushing RGGI Across the Finish Line!

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI – pronounced “Reggy”) is Governor Wolf’s effort to begin cleaning up the Commonwealth’s electricity generation. RGGI is a “cap and trade” mechanism for putting a price on CO2 emissions from power plants. States in New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions that have been part of RGGI for years have reduced their CO2 emissions significantly and have generated major revenue that has been invested in clean energy and other programs to address climate justice. In Pennsylvania RGGI has cleared several major hurdles toward implementation but still faces significant opposition.

At our September PA IPL Philadelphia Chapter program we had several participants who have been following RGGI since its introduction in Pennsylvania and are very familiar with its provisions and what remains to be done to ensure RGGI’s success:

  • Bill CozzensPA IPL Board member and climate activist with several organizations will be introducing the panelists, providing some background information on RGGI, and moderating the audience discussion and Q&A period
  • Nora Elmarzouky, a climate justice organizer working for POWER Interfaith. Nora is the staff person supporting POWER’s RGGI Advocacy team and its Public Utility Commission Working Group.
  • Liz Robinson, former Executive Director of the Energy Coordinating Agency Philadelphia, is currently serving as Executive Director of the Philadelphia Solar Energy Association. Liz is an active member of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Eco-Justice Collaborative: Quakers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware promoting clean energy and economic, racial, and social justice. Liz has been actively supporting RGGI since its introduction.

RGGI is a complex regulation with lots of components. During our meeting Liz and Nora unpacked some of the complexity and helped us understand the benefits and current status of RGGI in Pennsylvania and what we can do to help push RGGI across the finish line.

Topics covered include:

  • How RGGI works and what impact it is likely to have on electric generation and costs
  • Benefits: reduction of CO2
  • Benefits: Funds available for clean energy and investments in environmental justice communities. How should funds be allocated?
  • Current status of approval
  • Opposition to RGGI
  • Steps we can take to move RGGI forward