Coalition Letter Supporting 100% Renewable Energy

PA IPL has signed on to the below Coalition Letter calling on Pennsylvania officials to support a to transition to 100% renewable energy on the heels of the recent SCOTUS ruling in the WV v EPA Case:


On behalf of the organizations signed below, we are writing to ask you to do everything in your power to move Pennsylvania to 100% renewable energy.

On the heels of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v EPA severely limiting the EPA’s authority to regulate climate pollution from power plants, it’s more urgent than ever that states like Pennsylvania lead in the fight to rein in climate pollution, and achieve the solutions called for by the scientific community: move towards 100% renewable energy.

There is growing consensus in the scientific community that if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change and leave a safer planet for our children and future generations, we must eliminate our emission of global warming pollution by 2050.

The stakes are incredibly high given the threat of more extreme weather events, the spread of exotic viruses and diseases, and health threats like increased cases of asthma and other respiratory ailments, and all the financial costs associated with addressing these challenges.

And the recent SCOTUS decision to hamstring the authority of the EPA only makes the need for state action more urgent.

The good news is that we have the tools at our fingertips to achieve these goals and solve the climate crisis. Multiple studies have laid out paths for Pennsylvania to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050, and to date, at least ten states have passed laws requiring that their own states achieve this goal.Setting a 100% requirement will ensure that the Commonwealth is doing its part to fight climate change and set a strong example for other states across the nation. Given the new hurdles put in place for federal solutions, leadership from states like Pennsylvania will be more crucial than ever.

So, I hope you will join us advocating aggressively for climate solutions in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, and support efforts to transition Pennsylvania to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.

Lobbying Meeting with State Representative Rick Krajewski

Please join us on Wednesday, July 6 at 10:00am for a lobbying meeting with State Representative Rick Krajewski.

A training will be held prior to the call on July 6th from 9:00 – 10:00am.

We will be meeting with State Rep. Krajewski to discuss his sustainability plans and views, As well as his support for big, bold investments in renewable energy, clean vehicles, environmental justice, and climate resilience by passing climate and clean energy investments in the State. 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.

Register here and we look forward to your participation!

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.

Philadelphia PA IPL Local Chapter Meeting – April 2022

This month’s meeting will be held on April 12th:
Can PGW Accelerate Philadelphia’s Clean Energy Transition?
REGISTER HERE

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 will be 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. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

We look forward to welcoming you on Tuesday, April 12th at 7:00pm via Zoom. If you can’t attend but are interested in the program, please register and we will send you the recording.

REGISTER HERE

Please note:
*  The Philly PA IPL’s normal monthly chapter meeting will take place from 7:00 – 7:30pm for chapter members only.
*  The program, which is open to all, begins at 7:30pm.


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.

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

What can congregations do to offset their carbon footprint, fossil fuel use / greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change impact?

Teach Others 

  • It is important to preach about our moral and ethical responsibility to live actively as stewards of creation and then seek ways to tend to the garden of creation. This can be from the pulpit, a green team, youth and adult education, or by becoming engaged in organizations such as your state’s IPL. In this way the impact of sermons, film screenings, education, and actively living as stewards shine as exemplars for others. The impact flows out through the congregation so that the individuals can adopt the same practices and they act as agents of change in the world. One congregation building becomes a community of care, and the impact is multiplied. 

Help Others 

  • Assist frontline and low-income communities to adopt practices that offset the same carbon footprints/ emissions/ impacts. Not all communities have the same resources. Working with, and I very deliberately mean with, other congregations can further directly spread the impact of your congregation’s efforts. 

Creation Care 

  • Plant trees on your congregation’s property or anywhere you can. PA IPL and the Chesapeake Bay Fund, as well as many other sources, will provide low or no cost trees for you to plant. Not only do these plantings mitigate flooding and support native biodiversity but they also serve as a natural form of carbon capture. Paralleling the plantings, the removal of invasive species and the planting native gardens further support biodiversity and carbon capture with minimal if any addition to your carbon footprint.

Community and Vegetable Gardens 

  • Not only do such projects serve as a unifying, education, and fun activity for the community which encourages mental health and a connection to our natural environment and food source it also can help reduce meat consumption as well food transportation. Much of our food is transported long distances and stored in large stores both of which produce significant carbon footprints while the growing of industrial scale crops can also produce significant emissions through the use of fertilizers and industrial equipment. This is putting aside the carbon and environmental impact of the meat industry. Gardens can serve as a further method of natural carbon capture just like tree planting.  

Investments and Divest 

  • If the congregation or its members have investments in fossil fuel industry it is important to divest and then re-invest in green sustainable renewable alternatives such as solar, wind, geothermal, etc. as well as companies which truly support these industries. The future of our economy is underway, and investments can help accelerate the transition so that we can mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. The industry and economy will follow the money.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 

  • It may be cliché, but it is absolutely important that the congregation and its members take this adage to heart. When planning and holding events or regular activities it is important to consider the ways in which we can reduce our consumption, purchase things we can reuse, or at least things we can recycle. The impact of the congregation can be multiplied by the adoption of such practices by the members. This will again assist in the transition to a new economy. 

Purchase low carbon goods 

  • Paralleling the three R’s the purchase of locally grown and made goods as well as those which utilize the fewest chemicals, and the least harmful practices here and abroad is an important larger step. Even if we use less, or can reuse, or recycle an item the whole life of the products is important.

Weatherization 

  • An energy audit, especially for older structures can be an important step, and PA IPL has someone who does an initial assessment for free and has expertise in congregational structures. There are however also simple ways we can weatherize today. It is important to check and maintain your HVAC systems regularly so that it is functioning efficiently to reduce cost and waste. Additionally, congregations can install programable thermostats which control use throughout the day and according to temperature changes. The efficiency of HVAC systems and thermostats are increased by the proper door, wall, and window insulation all of which aid in the efficiency of the system.  

Energy Efficiency 

  • Other efficiency are the purchase of LED light bulbs, smart switch, and high efficiency appliances while also removing ghost loads, which draw energy even when not in use.  

Purchase Sustainable Green Renewable Energy 

  • Many competitive energy options exist through state energy exchanges which allow you to purchase part or all of your energy use from sustainable green renewable energy sources.

Installation of Sustainable Green Renewable Energy 

  • Not all congregations are in the position to purchase their own installation, but solar arrays, windmills, and geothermal systems are all viable options which offer financial benefits and serve as an example for the broader public but also are obviously large commitments to stewardship. PA IPL and others are able to assist congregations in navigating the financing options and the process. In September PA IPL is having an event with experts to specifically discuss how to purchase a solar array.

Advocate 

  • While not all congregations or individuals are interested in getting involved in advocacy, it is important to remember that advocating on behalf of climate justice and sustainable green renewable energy with elected officials and policy makers is a vital part of our impact. Too often congregations are too worried to speak up for their moral and ethical commitments. If we do not speak up someone else will speak for us. If we do not act we are not protecting ourselves, others, and our environment as God expects of us. Without changes in the ways governments (local, state, and federal) and industries operate there is only so much an individual can do. People, government, and industry are the three legs of the solution. 

Other Resources

PA IPL also has a congregation tool kit which allows congregations to explore how to do this for themselves. Look for updates on our website.

IPL Cool Congregation Startup Kit

EPA Energy Star for Congregations Workbook

Clean Energy Investment Resources

Divestment Resources

Congregation Examples

In addition to the IPL Cool Congregation there are many examples of what has been done across PA and the USA. Christ Covenant Church in Harleysville for example, installed a large ground based solar array which covers on average 90% of their energy use for multiple buildings, new, old, and modified. Solar arrays at congregations such as Christ Covenant serve as an educational tool for the congregation, especially the youth education programs, and will in the course of its 30 year lifespan of the array produce more than double the value of the upfront investment of the congregation. Moreover, if Pennsylvania had a better community solar or SRAC (solar renewable energy credit) policy the energy production in the summer which is 2 to 3 times the usage would have made the solar array even more profitable. On August 27th, 2021 PA IPL held a solar tour at Christ Covenant with elected officials and others. There is a video on PA IPL’s website which is a combination of video from this tour and a second tour in Allegany County.  PA IPL hopes to invite other congregations in the future to join us at Christ Covenant and elsewhere to tour these installations and see the greening congregations are doing to reduce consumption, adopt alternative energy sources, and live actively as stewards of creation.