Activists set up 3AM camp on PECO’s plaza, protest PECO’s new 5 year climate-destroying, community-destroying energy plan
After a week of fasting in spiritual preparation, at 3am today activists from the Power Local Green Jobs (PLGJ) campaign set up camp on PECO’s plaza under a giant tent banner that read “PECO has no climate plan”. Later in the morning, dozens of activists from across PECO’s service area marched and car caravanned from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to PECO to call attention to PECO’s dangerous new 5-year energy plan.
The plan, just approved by the PUC, fuels climate change by not expanding solar energy, and provides no relief to communities of color and poor communities struggling with economic insecurity, poor air quality, and the growing threats of climate change.
“PECO and the PUC refuse to envision a new way of doing business that ensures our community and the climate are protected. I would be glad to sacrifice a lot if I knew our world could have safe energy and green jobs for people from my community who were excluded from the dirty fossil fuel job economy,” says Rabbi Julie Greenburg, Director of POWER’s Climate Justice and Jobs committee.
All week, activists from Earth Quaker Action Team and POWER have been fasting in spiritual preparation for the fight ahead. On the plaza Friday morning, after a cold night holding vigil outside PECO, some protestors broke their fast.
“We fast because we’re outraged that the PUC and PECO lack the courage to implement economic solutions that could bring jobs back to our region and improve the health of our communities,” says Ben Safran, Board Co-Chair of EQAT. “But we also fast because we haven’t lost hope in our vision for a just solar transition. All of us, including PECO, need to prepare for the work we must do to bring on the climate and economic justice we deserve.”
Also this week, the Philadelphia Inquirer published an opinion piece by PLGJ campaign organizers challenging PECO to invest in solar and green jobs.
Power Local Green Jobs is a faith-based economic justice campaign led by Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) and Pennsylvanians 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.eqat.org and www.powerinterfaith.org.