100% Renewable Energy — Rev. Dr. Vincent Kolb’s remarks

On June 19, 2019, the Rev. Dr. Vincent Kolb (pastor of Sixth Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh) gave remarks at the 2019 100% Renewable Lobby Day rally organized by our friends at PennEnvironment.

He’s kindly shared his remarks with us here. Since these remarks were necessarily brief, at the end you’ll find a few links to learn more about the exciting energy resolution of the Pittsburgh Presbytery. Prefer video? His remarks begin at 27 min here.

Good morning!

Eleanor Roosevelt once said

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

We have gathered today because we have a beautiful dream: 100% renewable energy for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2050.

I am here to tell you that people of faith in southwestern PA are working hard to make this beautiful dream a reality. In Pittsburgh Presbytery in 2017, our region of churches submitted a resolution to our national church to divest our national resources from fossil fuels. This is a part of a growing worldwide movement, as clean, renewable sources of energy become responsible and profitable investments. Today, approximately 5.5 trillion dollars have been divested from the fossil fuel industry and faith-based organizations are leading the way at 27% of those institutions making divestment commitments!

We have begun a region-wide effort to provide congregations the opportunity to convert to renewable energy sources: solar panels on roofs and undeveloped properties, cooperative purchase of energy needs, affordable energy audits for aging facilities, and the establishment of neighborhood solar cooperatives. This is in keeping with the vision of Mayor Bill Peduto and our City Council in Pittsburgh, which have pledged the Steel City to be 100% clean energy by 2035.

At the same historic Presbytery meeting in December of 2017, our regional body condemned the construction of the Shell Cracker plant in Beaver County, that will emit 2.25 million tons of CO2 annually in a region that is already in the top 2% for cancer risk because of air pollution. We want our region to be a clean energy hub, not a new cancer alley!

We are part of a faith tradition that has affirmed our responsibility to care for the earth as our home and care for all people, especially our most vulnerable populations who are at risk for cancer, disease, and asthma.  Clergy and lay people of faith will continue to advocate for the care of our home, because our sacred scriptures have commanded us to be good stewards of the gifts God has given us.

Rev. Kolb as the crowd begins to assemble on the steps in the Capitol Rotunda

Who wants 100% renewable energy in PA? We do!
Who wants 100% renewable energy in PA? We do!

Thank you!

Want more? Click through to:

  • sign up to host a screening of Paris to Pittsburgh, a National Geographic film that features work cities, towns, and states are doing to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • learn about the massive petrochemical complex including an multi-state underground storage facility and the first of several gargantuan “cracker plants” which use “wet gas” from fracking for plastics manufacturing.
  • read the three-part resolution itself.
  • peruse the FAQ page that FossilFreePCUSA created in advance of the the 2018 national divestment overture.
  • join PA IPL’s monthly Policy Update calls to stay current on state and federal climate and clean energy policies. Each month includes positive news, a discussion hook, and one state and one federal action item.

100% Renewable Energy— solar installer remarks

Jacob Mann from SunDirected was scheduled to give remarks at the 2019 100% Renewable Lobby Day organized by our friends at PennEnvironment.

Full disclosure: SunDirected is a perennial silver sponsor of our bike trip. They’re in central Pennsylvania. For you Eastern Pennsylvania folks, Exact Solar was also a 2019 silver sponsor, too.

Jacob’s remarks:

Good morning everyone! I want to thank Penn Environment once again for the opportunity to be here and speak.

Continue reading 100% Renewable Energy— solar installer remarks

WEBINAR: An Introduction to Community Solar in Pennsylvania: Harnessing Sunshine to Lower Bills and Build a Brighter Future

Learn how you and your religious institution can benefit from community solar

September 20, 2018 7:00 p.m.

get a flier to print and share

This event is free and open to the public.

Have an unavoidable conflict?  Register!  (Registrants can access a recorded version of the webinar to listen to (and view) later.)
Note: this webinar is specifically crafted for Pennsylvania. If you are part of our beyond-PA network, email us and we’ll find out if there might be a webinar in your state soon.

Affordable solar energy is giving families, churches, schools and many others a way to lower energy bills while serving the common good and being good stewards of the earth. However, rooftop solar simply isn’t an option for the majority of consumers who want it – families who rent, have shaded rooftops, or don’t qualify for standard financing solutions, for example. Community solar gives consumers like these a way to go solar, whether or not they own a suitable roof of their own.

Join us for a free webinar to learn more about what community solar is, examples of how it’s working around the country today, and ways that you can get involved in expanding solar opportunities for you and your community.


  • Introduction and welcoming remarks from co-hosts
  • Community solar 101
  • Expanding solar access to all, including low-income customers and faith based-organizations
  • Community solar barriers and opportunities in Pennsylvania
  • Audience Q & A
  • Next steps and ways to get involved


  • Pari Kasotia, Mid-Atlantic Director, Vote Solar
  • Marta Tomic, Community Solar Program Director, Vote Solar
  • Melanie Santiago-Mosier, Access and Equity Program Director, Vote Solar



The Pennsylvania Council of Churches is a voluntary association of Christian churches in Pennsylvania. Through the Public Witness Ministry, we empower people of faith, through education and skill-building, to make a difference for the common good in the public square, and advocate on behalf of the Council’s member church bodies before Pennsylvania’s legislative and administrative branches of government.

United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania educates and empowers United Methodists to engage legislators and other state officials on social and governmental policy issues, as well as being a vehicle for that engagement. Furthermore, United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania collaborates with other faith-based advocacy networks.

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (LAMPa) is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and serves as a State Public Policy Office of the ELCA. In response to God’s love in Jesus Christ, LAMPa advocates for wise and just policies in Pennsylvania that promote the common good. LAMPa’s vision is centered in the ELCA strategic direction to “Step forward as a public church that witnesses boldly to God’s love for all that God has created.”

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (PA IPL) is a network of individuals and faith communities responding to climate change in a variety of ways, practical and prayerful.   We work from a place of active hope, engaging our gifts as we seek to live as better citizens of our Common Home. PA IPL’s work includes a Sustained Advocacy initiative, which supports individuals engaging with their lawmakers and civic leaders in conversation about clean energy, just transition, and care for people and planet.

Vote Solar is a national, non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization with a mission to make solar a mainstream energy source. We aim to foster economic opportunity and support a cleaner, healthier environment by bringing solar energy into the mainstream. Vote Solar is not a trade group and does not have corporate members. Since 2002, Vote Solar has worked in states all across the country to remove market barriers and implement key policies needed to bring solar to scale.






HARRISBURG – Trinity Solar at UCH Journey to Justice

Member congregation the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg touches a wide range of topics in their Journey to Justice series (usually first Tuesdays).  In January, they’ll meet on the second Tuesday for a presentation on solar energy.  Bring your questions! 

READING AREA: partner event: PA solar assistance – Solar Financing for non-profits and businesses

We are sharing this event from RER Energy Group because they have past experience with congregations and other non-profits in PA and in nearby states.

While the description pasted below does not specifically include non-profits, we have confirmation from our friends at Sunvestment (part of RER) that NON-PROFITS and MUNICIPALITIES *are* included.

PA Restarts Support for Solar Projects

PA Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA) Announces $30 Million in Low Cost Loans for Solar

f you are concerned about any of the following:

  1. Controlling the cost of energy today 
  2. Higher electric costs as natural gas exports expand
  3. Finding ways to decrease your company’s tax liability

…You should attend our January 19th seminar.  You will learn how the new PA CFA Solar Financing Program can lead to positive cash flow for your business in the first year AND effective electricity costs of less than $0.04 per kWh for the next 30 years.

This Financial Seminar is designed to show your CFO/Controller how to tap into:

  • Federal Tax Credit: which currently represents 30% of project costs,
  • Accelerated Depreciation: 5 years (50% in the first two years),
  • CFA and other Financing Options, including PPA’s (Purchase Power Agreements)

2017 will be a great year to pursue solar, as prices have fallen by nearly 70% over the past five years, and this CFA loan makes it that much more attractive for your bottom line.

NOTE:  Only $30MM of PA CFA low interest rate loans are available, and the first applications will be considered as of January 22nd.  We anticipate the demand for this financing will be high, and the allocation of funds will run out swiftly.  A CFA Program Representative will be available for questions.

Bring your electric bill !  So we can provide advice and projections.     Register Now!

If you have any questions please contact us.
We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

Loretta Ottinger
RER Energy Group

Islamic Horizons: Divest and Reinvest

Reprinted from Islamic Horizons, September-October 2016, pp. 38-39
written by Saffet Abid Catovic, one of the authors of the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change. [Recommended further reading about mosques in Morrocco taking action, and about a mosque in North Carolina responding to the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change.]
Islamic Horizons COP21 and divestment

Muslims involved in the environmental “green” movement often cite two of Prophet Muhammad’s (salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) hadiths: “Indeed the world is green and sweet, and indeed God has left you to remain to see how you behave. So beware of the world, beware of the world” and “People have common share in three (things): Grass (herbage/vegetation for humanity and animals), water and fire (light, heat and power, which includes the electrical power derived from burning fossil fuels and other sources of energy).”

Most conflicts throughout history, regardless of their size, can be tied, in one way or another, to one side’s access and/or control over these finite life-sustaining resources. Currently, these resources are not being shared equitably, in terms of the present members of creation and those yet to come. Just as the global faith communities and their leaders have declared their intent to battle climate change by releasing statements and declarations (e.g., the Papal Encyclical on the Environment and Climate Change and Laudato Si), local faith leaders must continue to mobilize their congregations to pursue this cause.

Meeting in Istanbul on Aug. 17-18, 2015, over 60 Muslim scholars, academics, and environmental activists from around the world adopted an Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change. This bold grassroots initiative was driven by various NGOs, including…

Read the rest of the article at Islamic Horizons (you will have to navigate to pp. 38-39), or via a PDF of the same article.

The Islamic Declaration on Climate Change that was released in the space between the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, and the COP21 talks in Paris.  You can find links to the encyclical, the Islamic Declaration, and many other multifaith resources published in that time period on our website here.

We recommended clicking through to read about how these statements are leading to actino in mosques in Morrocco, and in a mosque in North Carolina.]