A word about COVID-19: We should be taking all possible precautions, and we can hold those who are impacted even more than others in our hearts: those who are disabled, have compromised immune systems, are struggling to keep up with child care or have to go to work, who lost or will lose jobs, and those who are on the front lines of caring for all who are ill.
This moment is also reminding us of the life and death stakes we are fighting for in our campaign. We need to transform our energy system so that shut offs are a thing of the past, so that air pollution and climate change are no longer endangering public health, and so that everyone has a good job.
March is a big month.
PECO will be submitting its Default Service Program (DSP) to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), which will show how it plans to buy its electricity over the next two to four years. Why does this matter? Because the DSP will indicate whether PECO has committed to a plan towards 20% local solar by 2025, or if it will continue to choose its profit over climate and the people of this region.
It's 2020 and I'm reminded of the urgency of climate change. This month, we continue to witness the fires that consume the wildlife and ancestral homelands of Australia's First Nation people. We continue to hear the cries of a global youth climate movement calling for government accountability. And yet corporations like PECO sit back - recklessly choosing inaction in the face of climate crisis, globally, and economic injustice, locally.
As we approach winter, utilities like PECO make plans to prepare for weather disasters. But we need PECO plan for climate disaster! On Wednesday, December 11th we will be taking action at three PECO locations demanding it make a plan for climate crisis.
These are transformational times. In the last couple months, young people have been in the streets protesting political dominance, corporate exploitation, climate crisis, and indigenous sovereignty. As we bear witness to this global groundswell, I am reminded of the importance of our work.
Yesterday, over 60 adults and elders descended on PECO’s headquarters with a pressing question: “Climate is changing. Why isn’t PECO?” These activists, including educators and grandparents, were moved to action by the tremendous call of youth leaders around the world, and in particular the thousands of children who poured into the streets of Philadelphia this past Friday, for the #YouthClimateStike.
On September 26, 2019 over 60 teachers, parents, grandparents, and other adults and young people answered the call of youth climate strikers around the world and asked PECO executives a reasonable question: climate is changing, why isn't PECO? We expected an update on PECO's plans for addressing climate crisis and inequality in the region, but rather than answering us, PECO made it clear that its only plan is business as usual. Below are reflections from two EQAT members on the action.
If you're like me, you're inspired by young people across the globe, preparing to strike for climate justice.
I know I'm not the only one who feels called to follow their leadership.
As you likely remember, at the April 2019 Exelon Shareholder Meeting, members of the Power Local Green Jobs Campaign told you that we are under the moral weight of the climate crisis, which has killed people and will continue to kill hundreds of millions of people. We spoke about how climate catastrophe will compound existing racial and economic inequality, which as people of faith, we feel morally bound to fight. In fact, it was to address these interrelated crises that we began this campaign four years ago to challenge our electric utility, PECO, to use its considerable power in southeastern Pennsylvania to spur a just, solar energy transition in our region.
We can tell because we were informed late on Friday by PECO VP, Tony Gay, that PECO was cancelling a meeting we had scheduled with Exelon CEO, Chris Crane for today.