Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Public Testimonies

How RGGI and Pennsylvania’s Carbon Budget Program work to reduce carbon pollutants that contribute to climate change:

  • RGGI is a multi-state, market-driven program for CO2 emissions from the electric power sector, implemented by a bipartisan group of governors.  It stretches across 10 states from Maine to Maryland, with Virginia and Pennsylvania now getting on board.
  • Under RGGI, the participating states agree on a regional limit on the carbon pollution that power plants can emit. Each state creates its own program for implementing the agreement.
  • Large carbon-emitting power plants purchase allowances equal to their CO2 emissions and can buy, sell, or trade carbon allowances within the overall cap.

In other words, power plants must pay for the dirty carbon pollution they cause, so they have an incentive to lower their emissions. If power plants reduce their emissions below their allowance, they can bank those allowances for use in the future, or sell allowances to other power plants, which creates more incentive for power plants to invest in ways to reduce their carbon emissions further.

The purchase of the allowances generates funds – as high as $300 million in a year – that could be used to support energy efficiency and renewable energy to further reduce air pollution in the state, and to help low-income consumers as well as communities that are transitioning away from fossil fuels.

PA IPL members, faith leaders, and advocates of climate justice from across the state have already taken a stance and testified, written in our local papers, and signed petitions.

Read the public testimonies of PA IPL’s Executive Director and advocates of climate justice. As we receive more testimonies, we will continue adding them to our website. If you or anyone you know would like to submit their public testimony, please email us.

December SUMMARY ONLY Sustained Advocacy policy update call

Sign up here for call info. 
The December “call” will be a mailed summary only.

Since both the November and December monthly Sustained Advocacy Calls have fallen on holidays there will be NO live Advocacy Calls until January 2021.
By the end of January, we hope to have hired a new part-time Policy Engagement Manager. The Job Description can be found
here.

These calls are scheduled monthly, and are a chance to develop and maintain a base of knowledge about current  and emerging climate policy and legislation, municipal through federal, with a focus on important issues and/or roles for Pennsylvanians and moral, ethical, and faith-rooted messages.  More.

The calls are open to people at any stage of advocacy and policy involvement.
We begin and end with a short meditation, reflection, prayer or centering breath, and include both reports and discussion.  We will identify and/or choose a limited number of key actions for each month. The resources that support this call come from and through a variety of sources: IPL national, the Washington Inter-religious Staff Community and connected organizations, the US Climate Action Network, and PennFuture.

Join from your computer or your phone on the 4th Thursdays of each month from 12:30-1:30 except for November & December.  The only charges are your normal charges for call or internet service.  This program is funded entirely by donations from our supporters to our general fund.

DONATE

November SUMMARY ONLY Sustained Advocacy policy update call

Sign up here for call info. 
This “call” will be a mailed summary only.

These calls are scheduled monthly, and are a chance to develop and maintain a base of knowledge about current  and emerging climate policy and legislation, municipal through federal, with a focus on important issues and/or roles for Pennsylvanians and moral, ethical, and faith-rooted messages.  More.

The calls are open to people at any stage of advocacy and policy involvement.  We begin and end with a short meditation, reflection, prayer or centering breath, and include both reports and discussion.  We will identify and/or choose a limited number of key actions for each month.

The resources that support this call come from and through a variety of sources: IPL national, the Washington Inter-religious Staff Community and connected organizations, the US Climate Action Network, and PennFuture.

4th Thursdays, 12:30-1:30
Join from your computer or your phone.  The only charges are your normal charges for call or internet service.  This program is funded entirely by donations from our supporters to our general fund.

DONATE

September 2020 Sustained Advocacy Policy Update call

At PA IPL, we recognize that all policy is a covenant with the future.

PA IPL’s Sustained Advocacy monthly calls are are a chance to develop and maintain a base of knowledge about current  and emerging climate policy and legislation, municipal through federal, with a focus on important issues and/or roles for Pennsylvanians and moral, ethical, and faith-rooted messages.

The calls are open to people at any stage of advocacy and policy involvement.  We begin and end with a short meditation, reflection, prayer, or centering breath.  Calls (and summaries) include Each call (and summary) includes a “discussion hook” – one or two articles about a current issue that offer the opportunity to engage with elected officials or, friends, family, or co-workers, and that could be the basis of discussion and exploration with a congregational study group.  Each month we identify one federal and one state action item, highlighted in the summary that comes out a week later.

The resources that support this call come from and through a variety of sources: IPL national, the Washington Inter-religious Staff Community and connected organizations, the US Climate Action Network, and networks of organizations interested in a Pennsylvania powered by clean, renewable energy.

Sign up to be on the policy call reminder list.

 

 

Stories from the Road — Hope for what can be

This week we have two stories from the road, each from a cyclist who participated in the 2019 bike trip. Rabbi Meryl Crean, from the Philadelphia region, talks about environmental values formed as a Girl Scout and carried through to her work as a rabbi and environmental advocate. The Dr. Rev. Dean Lindsey of State College connects the local ride to its global implications for the environment, particularly for vulnerable low-elevation countries, like Kiribati — a perspective informed by his own deep connections to another low-elevation area: New Orleans as well as his sabbatical to Kiribas.

For 8 years PA IPL has sent cyclists from Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C. as a low-carbon way to advocate for people and planet, connect communities, and financially support PA IPL. This summer we are telling stories from the road. See how our donation tree is growing here and help us meet our $30,000 fundraising goal.

Other voices from the road: Joyce Breiner

Read Joyce’s reflection.

Take Action: advocate and vote

Sustained advocacy is building relationships with legislators with the idea that all policy is a covenant with the future.

We engage in respectful and challenging, non-partisan, solutions-oriented conversation with our public officials over time. Our conversations begin with shared values, and may frame moral dilemmas for our legislators and others.

We focus on legislation that ceases expansion of our fossil fuel infrastructure, and promotes renewable energy deployment and widespread use of energy efficiency technology and practice. We are clear that solutions must not increase energy burdens or continue to ignore “sacrifice zones“; policies should increase equity and repair past harms caused by our profligate energy use and choices.

Learn more by joining our monthly Sustained Advocacy Policy Update Zoom calls by phone or by computer. People on the list get the call summary one week after the call, whether or not they were able to attend, including a federal action item, a state action item, a discussion hook, positive news, and a closing meditation. The actions in the July call summary are still good ones! Because legislators are in-district in August, our “call” will be summary-only in August. Watch your inbox on August 27th! 

Make sure you and your neighbors are ready to vote!
We want you to be able to vote safely and effectively. Please share this information with your congregation, and with your community groups. We created a downloadable Word document of this information to link to your congregation’s newsletter or website.

  1. Register for a vote-by-mail ballot online (English and Spanish language applications available). Scroll directly to the bottom of the page, confirm that you are not a robot, and click “begin your application.”
    Your ballot will be mailed to you. You can track your ballot as your request is processed, then as it moves through USPS to your mailbox.
  2. Print the registration form, fill it out, and choose an option below

No matter how you vote, your vote must be complete by November 3.
Mail-in ballots must be at your county elections office by November 3.
Drop off your completed ballot in person at your county elections office before November 3, or mail it from a neighborhood with speedy mail service well before November 3. (Either way, you will seal the completed ballot in an unmarked inner envelope, then a signed outer envelope according to the directions.) Current rules say that postmarks are not enough; arrival is what matters.

Turn to Prayer

Please hold PA IPL and all who are working toward climate justice in your prayers through the week.

In 2019, PA IPL supporters “paved the cyclists’ way with prayer,” submitting original prayers, poems and artwork to express the deep faith that underlies their commitment to climate justice and care. The cyclists shared a compilation of these prayers with elected officials in Washington, as part of their advocacy conversations. Each week we are featuring a different prayer from the collection. This week’s prayer was written by a member of the Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL.

Two Ways to Get your Donation Matched!

Supporters of PA IPL’s Stories from the Road Campaign have two ways to see their contributions matched! A group of generous donors has created a matching fund of up to $4,000, doubling the contribution impact of one-time givers during the August campaign. Those who make a three-year pledge will have their first year of donation matched through our For the Long Haul campaign. These opportunities come with immense gratitude for the generous people seeding our growing organization’s fundraising efforts. 

 Save the Date for the Stories from the Road: Celebrating the Journey Zoom event, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

On Sep. 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, we’ll culminate our campaign with a live zoom-based Stories from the Road Celebration, featuring live music, prayer, storytelling, and a chance to share your own stories of climate work with people throughout the state.  The event is free with a donation during Stories from the Road. Additional tickets can be purchased for $10. Spaces are limited, so donate now!

DONATE

Stories from the Road reflection— Peter Dugas, inaugural rider

Peter Dugas was a charter PA IPL Board member of PA IPL, and one of three inaugural cyclists in 2012. He is an engineer who knows a lot about energy efficiency, and a fine musician, which both played a part in his community connections during that 2012 ride! Peter now lives in Maine.

Share a highlight of a past bike trip. 
I had the pleasure of being one of three cyclists on the inaugural (2012) PAIPL bike trip and have so many memories. I remember the send-off in State College with the 20-plus cyclists who agreed to ride the first few miles with us. I felt a bit over my head because everyone was wearing cycling gear and shoes and I was the jerk who didn’t know any better and wore chinos and loafers.

Sendoff after the blessing in downtown State College!
Made it! arrival at the national IPL conference at the Kellogg Center on the campus of Gallaudet University

How has the bike trip continued to impact or sustain you? 
I often remember the outreach we made to the kind folks along the way who opened their homes for us. No matter their opinion of climate action they were moved by our commitment, and we were moved by their hospitality.

In what ways are you continuing to reap inspiration and energy from your experience of the trip? 
I continue to lobby my national lawmakers for climate action and I will always carry with me the lesson I learned on that trip that caring for our common home is a bridge issue not a wedge issue.

Between appointments in Pennsylvania legislators’ offices on Capitol Hill.

What you are doing right now to support the work of PA IPL in raising climate change as a moral issue.
Though I no longer live in PA I continue to support PA iPL and enjoy reading about their recent outreach efforts and bike trips

What “call to action” would you encourage others to take regarding climate change at this time?
Call your Senators and Representatives, ask for specific policy like a carbon fee and dividend, invoke the climate stewardship messages from your faiths, share the En-ROADS Climate Simulator* with others and talk about climate care as often as socially acceptable!

Peter with the inner workings of the green Quaker Welcome Center across from the U.S. Senate.

*Note: The En-ROADS Climate Simulator is an online policy simulation tool that gives users the ability to explore the likely consequences of a variety of factors  that affect climate change, such as  energy, economic growth, land use, and other policies and uncertainties.

Friends, did you know?
PA IPL includes a “Discussion Hook” in every monthly policy call update. These are timely articles that provide an entry point for learning and conversation around climate impacts, climate justice, climate solution, and related policies. There is always a little intro, a link, and often a little excerpt. They are suitable for conversations with neighbors, friends, family members and even congregational study or action groups! For a sample, check out the discussion hook in the end-of-April summary here.

Climate scientist and climate communicator Katharine Hayhoe has said that talking about climate change is one of the most important things that anyone and everyone can do. If we’re not talking about climate change, we’re not talking about solutions, and our policymakers aren’t hearing about their constituents’ concerns or hopes.