Sierra magazine. Le Bateau Ivre, 2015, is one of several hard-hitting examples from Spanish artist Pejac.
Sierra magazine. Le Bateau Ivre, 2015, is one of several hard-hitting examples from Spanish artist Pejac.
In 2018, CCEA member PennFuture presented its Green in ’18 campaign, with an eye to securing commitments from the then gubernatorial candidates.
At the same time, a Pennsylvania Common Conservation Agenda was worked out by 25 environmental groups including CCEA members Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, PennEnvironment PennFuture, and Sierra Club. Download that document here: Updated-Final-Version-of-the-PA-Common-Conservation-Agenda-5.1.18.
PennFuture has been working with 20+ environmental, land, air, and water groups and organizations to identify the biggest environment challenges facing Pennsylvania. As a result, this coalition has created and agreed upon the most promising policy solutions to these threats. This process led to the creation of the first-ever Pennsylvania Common Conservation Agenda, a blueprint for restoring and preserving our life-sustaining natural resources.
Not only do these solutions promote a healthier environment and a stronger economy, they are publicly popular, fiscally responsible, and can be enacted by our next Governor using his or her executive authority. In virtually every instance, increases in state spending will be offset through job growth, revenue growth, energy savings, and/or lower healthcare costs….
The points in the Pennsylvania Common Conservation Agenda are:
1. Strengthen the 21st Century Workforce through Green Jobs
2. Champion the Great Waters of Pennsylvania from Source to Tap
3. Provide the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources with
the Needed Resources to Fulfill Their Missions
4. Improve the Department of Environmental Protection’s Ability to Protect the Public from Threats Posed by NaturalGas and Petrochemical Infrastructure
5 Ensure Environmental Justice for Vulnerable Communities
6 Boost Current Investments in Growing Greener
7 Bolster the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Sector
These valuable goals remain works in progress. Two underlying principles from the Introduction are:
• a healthy environment renders possible the governance, education, business, and recreation that the people who live and work in our Commonwealth need, expect, and depend on
• a healthy environment is compatible with a strong business climate
And here are a few painful reminders of how much needs to be done:
• Pennsylvania has the third worst air quality in the United States
• Pennsylvania’s poorest residents are often the ones who live next to polluting industrial facilities, such as power plants, factories, transportation hubs, gas wells, and other sources of pollution
• Attracting greater clean energy investment to Pennsylvania will require the Commonwealth to solve numerous financing challenges that currently hinder the state’s clean energy industry
Read the full report!
[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.
Photo by Richard Whiteford at the Climate Action Summit at the UN, taken 9/23/19
See more on the 17 goals here.
“The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it ís important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030….” And also:
Climate change is already impacting public health, food and water security, migration, peace and security. Climate change, left unchecked, will roll back the development gains we have made over the last decades and will make further gains impossible.
Investments in sustainable development will help address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building climate resilience.
Conversely, action on climate change will drive sustainable development.
Tackling climate change and fostering sustainable development are two mutually reinforcing sides of the same coin; sustainable development cannot be achieved without climate action. Conversely, many of the SDGs are addressing the core drivers of climate change.
Here are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals:
Goal 1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10 Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
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.
On Sept. 14, delegates of the Chester County Environment Alliance met productively for 2.5 hours.
Please Like the CCEA public Facebook page to stay up to date on local meetings, other groups you might find of interest, and upcoming events like the Clean Energy Open House Tour on October 19.
The Chester County Environment Alliance brings the representatives of its groups together three times a year to discuss the issues affecting our environment, help each other amplify our messages, coordinate events and campaigns, and use our resources jointly to help our shared mission to preserve and protect our environment and encourage sustainable choices in everyday life.
Please spread the word about this growing initiative as we work together with our friends and neighbors to preserve our environment on so many worthy fronts.
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.” …