Renewable Energy & The National Environmental Energy Standard with JEA

Part of PA IPL’s Ongoing Partnership with Jewish Earth Alliance

Speakers: Odette Mucha, Mid-Atlantic Regulatory Director and Federal Liaison Vote Solarand
An inspirational spiritual speaker.

Jewish Earth Alliance and PA Interfaith Power & Light are co-sponsoring this informational and motivational meeting on Wednesday, September 1 at 7:30pm.

The US still gets 60% of its electricity from fossil fuels. Electrical generation is a major source of carbon emissions, second only to transportation. To avert the worst effects of climate change we need to use 100% clean renewable energy such as from solar or wind. A federal Clean Energy Standards (CES) would mandate progress toward the use of renewables for the entire country, which would be a tremendous step toward eliminating the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.

Democrats are aiming to pass a budget under the rules of reconciliation, offering another opportunity to remediate the climate crisis. Their proposed $3.5 trillion budget includes CES, and other climate solutions such as electric car incentives and energy efficient buildings. Members of Congress need to hear our call for comprehensive CES that accelerates the transition to renewable energy, with justice for communities harmed by fossil fuel.

REGISTER HERE for Wednesday, September 1st.

How to Write Effective Letters to Elected Officials

Part of PA IPL’s Ongoing Partnership with Jewish Earth Alliance

Speakers: Phyllis Blumberg, Advocate, PA-wide organizer for Jewish Earth Alliance; and
Seth P. Sacks or Ryan Adams who are both Field Directors for Climate Action PA, for the League of Conservation Voters.

If you care about averting the worst effects of climate change it is essential that you raise your voice and let decision makers, especially your elected policy makers, know how you feel and how you want them to act.

One of the best ways you can let your elected officials know you care about environmental issues is to write personal letters. Yet for many people letter writing can be intimidating. Therefore, you are invited to attend an interactive session where you can learn to easily write these letters. You will also write your letter during this session.

This session will walk you through how to write letters to your elected officials to express your views on actions that need to be taken. We will answer all your questions and talk about how to tell your own personal story that will have impact and meaning for your readers.

REGISTER HERE for this training on Wednesday, August 25th.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill: What it Does and Does Not Include

On August 10, the Senate passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, a $3.5 Trillion budget deal. Just days later, they approved a budget resolution.

Of IPL’s priorities, the bipartisan bill includes:

  • Funding to clean up Superfund sites and other legacy pollution, including abandoned mine lands ($21 billion, with $11 billion for abandoned mine lands)
  • Investments to improve and expand ‌Amtrak‌ ‌service‌ ‌($66 billion)
  • Some funding for ‌clean‌ ‌drinking‌ ‌water ($63 billion, only $15 billion for lead pipe removal)
  • Investments in ‌the‌ ‌development‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌21st‌ ‌century‌ ‌electrical‌ ‌grid‌ ($65 billion)
  • Building electric‌ ‌vehicle‌ ‌charging‌ ‌stations‌ ($7.5 billion)

Unfortunately, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill failed to address many other climate issues that will help meet the climate goals our nation needs. Clean energy, replacing lead pipes, wind and solar energy, clean transportation, and investing in resources for disadvantaged communities was not addressed. As we look to the future, we need President Biden and Congress to go bold — so we can spur growth.

  • Clean energy: The bipartisan deal includes no meaningful support for wind and solar power. We need the reconciliation package to include an extension and expansion of clean energy tax credits for wind, solar, and electric vehicles, as well as a national Clean Energy Standard that supports truly clean, renewable energy.
  • Replacing lead pipes: This deal cuts the total funding for clean water to half of what the President had initially proposed, and only $15 billion for removing lead pipes. This is significantly less than $60 billion the water industry estimates is needed to ensure all communities have lead-free drinking water.
  • Clean transportation: The bipartisan deal includes insufficient funding for public transit, rail, electric school buses, and electric vehicle charging.
  • Investing with justice: As President Biden promised on the campaign trail, we need to see at least 40% of funds spent in the communities hurt the most by our current polluting economy.

Whether Congress immediately moves a budget reconciliation package that matches the scale of the climate and environmental justice crises we face depends on the actions we take right now. We still need a Climate Bill and the actions we take as faith communities matter now more than ever. We need the budget reconciliation bill to be a Climate Bill that meets this moment, heeds the science, and delivers on climate, justice, and jobs.

If you want to let your Senators and Representative know climate matters are important to you, REGISTER HERE to join PA IPL and Jewish Earth Alliance to learn how to write effective letters to elected officials on August 25, 2021 at 7:00pm. As part of this session, you will write your own letter on a climate issue important to you. You can be part of making a Climate Bill a reality.

The ABC’s of the Infrastructure Bill: Airports Bridges and Climate & Why Your Activism and Advocacy Matter with JEA

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light is happy to be partnering with Jewish Earth Alliance (JEA) for a new initiative to help Pennsylvanians voice their position on climate change with a real impact. On August 4th at 7:30PM, PA IPL’s Policy Manager, Amani Reid, will partner with PA IPL member and PA Coordinator for JEA, Phyllis Blumberg, to host the first in a new series of monthly information and training sessions to assist and encourage political letter writing.

JEA will be providing ongoing training and templates for a monthly letter writing campaign to local, state, and federal officials. The meetings will take place on the first Wednesday of each month and will provide a template, information, and guidance for all those interested in amplifying the message of Climate Justice.

Letter writing to our elected officials is one of the most straightforward and important ways we can communicate our moral and ethical stance regarding Climate Justice. Legislators are legally obligated to track such communications so letters are an effective and direct way to inform officials and convey our position, made all the more powerful by our collective voice and as a community of faith and conscience. Your letters can and will make a difference with policy makers so that they live up to their moral obligation to save our planet.

This month we have two fantastic speakers joining us:

    • Rabbi Nathan Martin, President of the board of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light will give us spiritual inspiration.
    • Roger Stephenson, the northeast regional director for advocacy for the Union of Concerned Scientists. He believes that each of us can point to something that motivates us to take action and Roger’s motivations are wildlife and his grandchildren. When he’s not working with scientists and advocating for climate he’s birding, paddling, or playing with his grandchildren.
  • The title of his presentation is The ABC’s of the Infrastructure Bill: Airports Bridges and Climate and Why Your Activism and Advocacy Matter. You will learn that every politician distills an issue into three components: ink, money, and votes. According to Roger, advocacy takes this into account and is incredibly important to face off against polluters’ money in politics, to help neighbors become aware and care, and to join in the effort to speak truth to power.

Write to your Federal Senators and Representative. Once you learn more about the importance of climate in the infrastructure bill and how the Jewish Earth Alliance makes it quite easy, through their background information and template letter, for everyone to write letters to their federal officials, we hope you will write to your members of Congress now and for the next few months.

This month we are writing letters to our US Senators and Representative on the importance of including crucial climate measures in infrastructure legislation. You can highlight measures to drive down carbon emissions, further environmental justice, and fund resilient infrastructure. All of these measures have been eliminated in the current bipartisan infrastructure bill.  We need to stay involved to show we care about climate infrastructure!