Author Archives: Nathaniel

As Pennsylvania Lawmakers Push Sneaky Petrochemical Corporate Subsidies, Investing in Renewables Would Be Jobs Bonanza

from Food and Water Watch PA, 7/14/20 [Food and Water Watch is a member of CCEA]

Forthcoming analysis finds similar investment in clean energy would create substantially more employment than Shell cracker plant

Yesterday, the State Senate passed an amendment to an unrelated bill that will grant massive tax breaks to petrochemical corporations in Pennsylvania, a move that recalls legislation (HB 1100) that was vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf earlier this year.

While these corporate handouts are promoted as a powerful tool to create desperately needed jobs, forthcoming research from the national organization Food & Water Watch reveals that the subsidies awarded to energy giant Shell to build a plant in Beaver County created far fewer jobs than supporters predicted, and that a similar level investment in renewable energy projects would create far more employment opportunities.

The Food & Water Watch research determined that while the state granted Shell an astonishing $1.6 billion in tax incentives for a project that will create a total of 600 permanent jobs (a cost of $2.75 million for every long-term job), a similar level of investment in wind and solar would create 16,500 jobs, which would almost match the state’s total employment in the oil and gas industries.

In response to the Senate vote, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter released the following statement:

“In the midst of a deadly global pandemic, Pennsylvania lawmakers are creating a secret scheme to hand hundreds of millions of dollars to petrochemical corporations in order to rescue the ailing fracking industry and create more plastic junk. Our research shows that investing in wind and solar provides far more bang for the buck. Instead of giving money to corporate polluters like Shell, lawmakers should put a halt to these absurd petrochemical giveaways, and build a clean, renewable energy industry that will create far more safe and stable jobs.”

Call on the EPA to ban toxic “forever chemicals”

Toxic chemicals off tap
From PennEnvironment: text of a petition against ongoing use of PFAS chemicals, which are now appearing in drinking water. Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA-04) has been a leader in securing the US House’s passage of the PFAS Action Act, which it is now up to the US Senate to pass for the public protection.

Dear EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler,

I urge you to halt further use of toxic PFAS chemicals unless and until any specific one is proven safe.

Across the country, the widespread use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has resulted in the contamination of drinking water. These PFAS chemicals are toxic to our health. A growing body of research has linked several types of PFAS to cancer, higher cholesterol levels, suppressed immune systems, low fertility, and even developmental issues in children and infants.

Please do all you can to protect drinking water from toxic chemicals.

Sign this petition at PennEnvironment

EQAT Action at PECO December 11, 2019

from West Chester Green Team

Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) protested simultaneously at three PECO locations in Chester County: Phoenixville, Coatesville and Warminster early on Wednesday December 11. Protesters’ demands were simple “PECO, get a plan to combat climate change.”

About a hundred people divided over the three locations delivered the message by songs, banners, signs, and speeches.

PECO has been seriously lacking in its response to climate change by not purchasing nearly enough of its electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind. PECO is not thinking long term and climate change is already causing deadly droughts, floods, and other extreme weather. If we do not take immediate action, the results could be catastrophic.

At the same time, income inequality is reaching historic heights. Working class communities and communities of color are facing staggering levels of unemployment as businesses and the wealthy profit. We believe that there are better ways of doing business that reduce climate change and produce good jobs.

PECO must become part of the solution by increasing the purchases of locally produced sustainable energy.

We demand that PECO derive 20% of the total energy production from sustainable sources produced locally while prioritizing community-owned solar power, ownership by low-income communities in PECO’s service area, and installation by local workers paid livable wages, especially from high unemployment areas in its service area.

So far the response of PECO has been words but no action and we demand immediate action to get to the 20% sustainable power by 2025. Europe just signed their Green New Deal so it’s not like the rest of the world is not moving forward. It’s companies like PECO that need to get with the times and if it takes more protests, then we will up our protests to a level that PECO can not turn away from.

Since 2015 our campaign has grown with actions like the PECO Runaround where 100 runners, walkers, and wheelers circled company headquarters at the “PECO Runaround” (because PECO is giving Philadelphia the runaround on solar). The event raised $10,000 to Power Local Green Jobs.

We will not sit still until PECO comes up with a plan and executes that plan with tangible results.

— Jakob

See also Donna Rovins, “Group continues to push PECO on solar power, green jobs,” Daily Local News, 12/15/19

Help Us Stop the PennEast Pipeline for Good!

from Karen Feridun, Dec 2, 2019:

Five years ago, I started an email account on behalf of the communities coming together to fight the newly-proposed PennEast Pipeline and used the account to create a petition to express our opposition. What has happened since then has been truly remarkable. Huge numbers of concerned residents have organized, commented on the FERC docket (in record numbers), passed municipal resolutions, rallied, marched, attended hearings, written letters, and more and thanks to their efforts, the pipeline still isn’t built.

It’s also been five years since the Delaware River Basin Commission announced it would conduct its own review separate from the FERC review, something it’s able to do as a federal-level commission (the President is one of the five Commissioners). If FERC says yes, but DRBC says no, the pipeline doesn’t get built.

There is no shortage of expert testimony indicating a wide range of profoundly negative impacts the pipeline would create. And now that we’re staring climate change in the face, it’s more important than ever to stop building more shale gas infrastructure.

Five years after starting that first PennEast petition, I’ve started another to support the groups’ current campaign to tell the DRBC it’s time to reject the PennEast Pipeline and close the file. Please add your name!