Category Archives: Energy

CCL’s Danny Richter talks about H.R. 763 on NPR’s 1A

email from Citizens’ Climate Lobby, 10/9/19

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act got some major media exposure recently when it was the topic of conversation on the NPR show 1A. CCL VP for Government Affairs Danny Richter was among a panel of guests talking about carbon pricing. He said the thing that sets H.R. 763 apart is the steep rate of increase for the carbon fee and the fact that revenue is returned to households.

Why has this bill gained traction? Danny said CCL worked outside the Beltway, “educating people in [nearly all] districts and teaching them about this policy… then they’ve been going back to the Beltway and building support there. So the key for us has been to go outside of the Beltway.”

Listen to Danny’s interview on 1A and share the program on social media.

Otten introduces plan to amend Pa. constitution for local self-government

[Why is this important for environment and sustainability? The US says states can’t protect themselves (e.g., by setting their own gas mileage standards) and the state says counties and municipalities can’t protect themselves (e.g., by regulating petroleum products pipelines). It’s time for municipalities to take back the right to work for the health, safety and welfare of their own residents. If the state of Pennsylvania cannot adequately implement its own constitution’s environmental rights amendment, then the levels of government closer to the grassroots need to do the job.]

Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, October 3, 2019 | 5:13 PM

Area officials support efforts

EXTON, Oct. 3 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, today announced a proposal for an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution.

Otten’s amendment, H.B. 1813, would allow municipal governments to enact laws protecting the health and safety of their communities without interference from corporations or pre-emption by the state or federal government.

“Today, I stood with local elected officials and members of our community to announce a proposal for an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution that would recognize the fundamental right of the people to local self-government and place the rights of citizens over the interests of private corporations,” Otten said. “Under current law in Pennsylvania, corporations can sue state and federal governments to override community attempts to protect themselves from projects with the potential to cause great personal or environmental harm. It is time we correct that failure.”

Otten was joined by Uwchlan Township Supervisor Bill Miller, West Chester Mayor Dianne Herrin, community organizer and Downingtown Area School Board director Rebecca Britton, PA Community Rights Network President Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck and a volunteer leader with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action, Erin Buchner.

Miller noted the current inability of townships to regulate the proliferation of cellular towers, the presence of guns in local parks or the sale of fireworks within township borders.

Uwchlan Township Supervisor Mayme Baumann also expressed support for the proposed amendment, stating, “Pennsylvania is a diverse patchwork of rural townships, suburban areas, small towns, and cities. This amendment would help us create a government that better reflects the values of our communities and gives municipalities the ability to protect their residents’ health, safety and natural resources.”

Britton discussed the importance of the legislation for communities living with pipeline construction, noting that “we the people can no longer protect our property as guaranteed us by the Pennsylvania constitution, because a private entity is shipping off our natural resources for plastics production, and in turn has put our private property at risk.”

Buchner commented on the need for the amendment as it relates to gun safety.

“Pre-emption laws override commonsense. In Pennsylvania, the state legislature has prohibited guns in the state Capitol and on state properties, while at the same time it pre-empts local governments from restricting guns in municipal buildings or in any city or town hall.”

Herrin described the ways that pre-emption ties her hands as a mayor on issues including gun safety, environmental initiatives, and taxing authority.

“We have a $20 million unfunded pension liability in West Chester because we have a large police force,” Herrin said. “I can’t protect my constituents from carrying the tax burden because the state will not allow us to generate revenue in any other way than through three very limited taxing authorities.”

Harnish Clatterbuck discussed the impact when a pipeline project called Atlantic Sunrise came through her Lancaster County community.

“We discovered that a company in Oklahoma had more power to do on our property what they wanted than we had the right to stop them. We were overruled by the regulatory agencies and by pre-emption, which has allowed our elected officials in Harrisburg and Washington to violate the health and safety of the people they have been elected to represent.”

For more information, those interested can call Otten’s office at 484-200-8259.

Chester County Clean Energy Tour

Don’t miss it: Saturday, October 19, 2019, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Did you know Chester County is a state leader in solar energy and energy efficiency? Across the County, 20.88 MW are produced in 839 Installations (#2 in PA). Join us for a tour of exemplary clean energy projects at our schools, universities, businesses, farms, non-profits, municipalities and homes. Be inspired at this FREE event that features self-guided tours and open house tours across the County.

The logos to the left show sponsors of the Chesco tour. There will be more! Note that Chester County’s topic for the day is much broader than the national solar theme.

Kick-off events will provide an orientation and suggested route. The homes, businesses, and public places you visit will demonstrate green technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal, green design, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and more. Learn how your home, workplace, local schools and municipal facilities can be part of the transition to cleaner, safer renewable energy.

Register to attend the tour here.

Be part of the largest national renewable energy event ever and be one of the many forward-thinking hosts or participants from across the country!

The tour is coordinated by Solar United Neighbors and the American Solar Energy Society, with help from Chester County Ready for 100% Renewable. See more about the nationwide National Solar tour here.

New study shows PA missing valuable opportunities to tap into clean energy

Penn Environment Release, August 22, 2019 [An important read! Some good news but overall, PA, “getting only 3% of its total energy from wind and solar today,” needs to do better!]

[Philadelphia, PA] — According to a new study released today by the PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, Pennsylvania has seen major increases in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun and wind since 2009, but the report shows that the Commonwealth isn’t keeping up with many of the states that are more aggressively tapping into clean energy opportunities.

The report, Renewables on the Rise: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future, compares Pennsylvania to other states in the nation through a state-by-state assessment of the growth of key technologies needed to power the Commonwealth and nation with clean renewable energy, including wind, solar, energy efficiency, energy storage, and electric vehicles. Pennsylvania ranked 22nd for solar, 20th for energy efficiency, 16th for wind, and 8th in battery storage for growth between 2009 and 2018. The report showed encouraging progress over the last decade, while also highlighting the need for increased action at the state and federal level to make the Commonwealth a clean energy leader.

“Every day, there’s more evidence that a future fueled by renewable energy is within our reach,” said Flora Cardoni, Climate Defender Campaign Director for the PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. “The progress we’ve made in the last decade on renewable energy and technology, like battery storage and electric cars, should give Pennsylvanians confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level. But there is still a lot of work to do to catch up to other states around the country and become a clean energy leader.” …

Stop the Attack on Pennsylvania’s Clean Energy Future

Our energy grid operator is impeding renewable energy; who knew? Here’s an easy way to ask Attorney General Josh Shapiro to safeguard Pennsylvania’s clean energy policies (which of course always need improving, and certainly not undermining!):

from Union of Concerned Scientists

It’s likely that the main connection you have to our electricity system is your local utility, which directly provides you with your electricity and bills you monthly. But behind the utilities, there’s another system made up of regional grid operators, which coordinate the transmission of electricity from generators to local utilities who then distribute the power directly to you.

Unfortunately, your energy grid operator, PJM Interconnection, has been advocating for a rule that would undermine state clean energy policies and prop up fossil fuels and make clean energy costlier for consumers like you.

It’s up to state attorneys general to defend state laws, including renewable energy standards and other clean energy policies, from attempts to undermine them like this.

Write today and urge your state attorney general to speak out against PJM’s proposed rule and to stand up for clean energy momentum in your state.

It’s crucial that state leaders like your attorney general speak out against this dirty rule and stand up for the voices of consumers and constituents.

Sign the petition to AG Shapiro at Union of Concerned Scientists

Solar energy on the ground

Chester County homes on display during solar tour

Daily Local News, 7/19/19

WEST CHESTER — Chester County Ready for 100 Percent Renewable Energy joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of clean energy-savvy installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools, houses of worship, non-profits and businesses ― in Chester County and across the region– for the 24th Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event.

The event, slated for Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 will showcase the solar, geothermal and energy efficiency technologies your neighbors are using to drastically reduce monthly energy bills, reduce health harming emissions, and enjoy tax credits and cash incentives as they improve their property values. And Chester County ranks second in solar installations in the state.

“Our Chester County Clean Energy Tour is putting out a call for community leaders to show families and businesses real-life examples of the transition to clean renewable energy,” said Kara Thorpe, a recent West Chester University graduate and Chester County resident who is coordinating the Clean Energy Tour. “We are putting out a call to businesses large and small, schools and houses of worship to showcase what we can do in our own community to harness free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool our buildings, heat water and slash monthly utility bills,” she said….

Read more at Daily Local News. See more on the Chester County solar tour here.

Urge Your State Rep to Reject Stealth Pro-Fracking Bill HB 827

From Conservation Voters of PA

Urge Your State Rep to Reject This Stealth Pro-Fracking Bill!

A sneaky bill is gaining steam in the state House that could open the Delaware River Basin up to fracking.

The Delaware River Basin Commission is so close to permanently banning fracking in the Basin to protect this critical drinking water source from being contaminated. But some pro-fracking politicians have come up with a strategy to block the ban: they’d classify it as eminent domain, which would require the Commission to compensate property owners.

This bill may sound like common sense, but make no mistake – it’s a cynical maneuver to force the agency to choose between going bankrupt and protecting drinking water for 13.3 million people.

Tell your state representative to vote NO on HB 827. Click here.