PA Solar for All Bill should live up to the name
PHILADELPHIA -- Today, PA Rep. Donna Bullock (D-Philadelphia) is announcing her introduction of “PA Solar for All,” a bill that would bring utility-owned solar energy to some low-income customers in the state.
“The Power Local Green Jobs campaign applauds Rep. Bullock and all the community members pushing forward green energy and green jobs. But PECO must also take this opportunity to announce how the company will rapidly get out of the business of climate change by adopting 20% solar energy by 2025 while creating local jobs,” said Eileen Flanagan, board chair of Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT).
“PECO needs a big-change vision to counter climate change with economic change. After the devastation of once-in-1000 year flooding in Houston, the fires in the west, and the second category 5 hurricane hitting the Caribbean in a matter of weeks, it could not be clearer that it is past time for utilities like PECO to rid themselves of dirty energy,” said Flanagan.
The introduction of Rep. Bullock’s bill includes a PECO grant to Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, Incorporated (OIC) for green jobs training.
“We celebrate that PECO has given this money to OIC for jobs training, but these are drops in PECO’s bucket. As a corporation that nets more than $1 million a day in profit while serving the poorest big city in America, PECO has all the resources for change it needs and the positive impact of jobs and local green energy could not be greater,” said Rev. Gregory Holston, executive director of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER).
“PECO needs to guarantee that those trainees will have jobs by basing its business on local, clean energy. It must answer the moral call of our time by doing its part to end poverty in our region, and it doesn’t need to wait for legislation to pass in Harrisburg to answer that call,” said Holston.
In its current state, the “PA Solar for All” bill only addresses solar for utilities and does not entail provisions to support community-owned solar. In states like Illinois, any utility-scale solar development must also include opportunities for distributed, local solar to be developed as well.
Power Local Green Jobs is a faith-based economic justice campaign led by Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) and Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER). Begun in 2015, the campaign uses nonviolent direct action to pressure PECO, the largest utility in PA, to spur job growth through solar expansion in areas with high unemployment. Learn more at www.powerinterfaith.org and www.eqat.org.