For Immediate Release
Philadelphia, PA - Today, grandparents, teachers and community members acting with Earth Quaker Action Team unfurled a banner saying “PECO: create solar jobs now!” on the Spring Garden bridge during rush hour.
Ryan Leitner, campaign organizer with EQAT, had the following statement about the action:
Today, the PA Public Utility Commission is holding two public hearings in Philadelphia on a controversial rate hike plan filed by PECO at the end of March. The proposal would increase PECO’s revenues by $82 million per year by charging an additional $40 annually on the average customer’s electricity bill.
WASHINGTON -- Green jobs advocates frustrated with the apathy of Philadelphia’s utility PECO are taking their complaints to the big bosses. Their latest action brought them to D.C. to demand local solar electricity outside the shareholder meeting of utility giant Exelon. Exelon owns both PECO and D.C. area utility Pepco.
PHILADELPHIA -- Foot-washing before Easter might be familiar in a church, but makes an unusual sight at an energy company like PECO, where 18 interfaith congregants were arrested today. The ritual benediction led to a peaceful occupation of the entryways at PECO headquarters. The Power Local Green Jobs campaign vowed to block PECO’s dirty energy business until it begins building a clean energy grid in low-income areas.
PHILADELPHIA -- They might be young, but they know PECO isn’t transitioning to clean energy fast enough to protect their future. Ten youth members of the Power Local Green Jobs campaign were barred entry to PECO today, but they negotiated with security to deliver a letter to PECO’s incoming CEO Mike Innocenzo. With new leadership, they want the company to bring thousands of jobs by building solar energy in the most vulnerable communities, particularly where unemployment is rampant.
PHILADELPHIA -- A solemn, black-clad procession of about 60 interfaith mourners arrived at PECO headquarters today, and seven left in handcuffs. The civil disobedience included prominent Philadelphia clergy members who want to see PECO spur green solar jobs to address poverty and unemployment. PECO denies responsibility for investing in solar.
PHILADELPHIA -- On this Ash Wednesday, members of Germantown Mennonite Church decided to celebrate the annual ritual that begins Lent in a more challenging way: they visited electric utility PECO’s headquarters to pray for jobs and clean energy, and to offer Valentine's Day cards to PECO employees. Associate Pastor John Bergen explained, “Lent is a time to deepen a spiritual commitment to justice. Anyone who has missed work or school because of asthma knows that dirty energy like PECO’s fuels injustice. In our country, Black, Brown, and poor communities are far more likely to suffer from bad air and the risks of climate disasters.”
PHILADELPHIA -- A group of 30 Quakers and others were ushered out of PECO headquarters where they held a pray-in today, calling for the company to get out of the business of climate destruction and to invest instead in local green energy and new jobs. The peaceful worshipers said they were following a Quaker tradition of confronting injustice with the belief that God’s light can open a new path.
PHILADELPHIA -- At PECO’s headquarters today, customers lined up to pay just one penny toward their bills - symbolizing the company’s “small change” plans toward supporting the growing clean energy sector and cleaning up its carbon pollution. Green jobs campaigners say the utility has failed to take real steps toward sourcing local solar power, which combines energy bill savings and healthier communities with more jobs than dirty energy sources, such as gas or oil.
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).