Quakers light a path for solar at PECO
PHILADELPHIA- Lining the walls of PECO’s lobby with electric candles and post-it notes, 45 Quaker and interfaith activists called for PECO to commit to connecting jobs-hungry communities to solar opportunities. Solar is one of the fastest growing industries in the country.
At the end of what will almost certainly be the hottest year ever recorded, the gathering of youth, students, and elders aspired for a new direction in 2017. The Power Local Green Jobs campaign is calling on PECO to commit to 20% local solar by 2025, starting in low-income neighborhoods. As the campaign has grown, the largest electric utility in PA has begun meeting with community leaders, who hope to see affordable, renewable energy built in economically vulnerable areas.
John Bergen, a volunteer leader with the campaign, said "We are heading into dark days in Washington. The likely secretary of energy doesn't even accept the hard fact of climate change. The president he'll serve under wants to expand burning fossil fuels. Companies like PECO need to bring light and clean energy to our local communities with forward-facing leadership."
The campaigners estimate that solar growth to 20% of our region’s electricity could create more than 10,000 new jobs.
Earth Quaker Action Team includes Quakers and people of diverse beliefs using nonviolent direct action to build a just and sustainable economy. EQAT (pronounced “equate”) won its first campaign in 2015, forcing PNC Bank to halt millions of dollars of financing to companies engaged in mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. Following that success, EQAT’s new campaign is pressuring local utility PECO to Power Local Green Jobs through solar expansion, particularly in North Philadelphia. www.eqat.org
POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild) is an interfaith organization committed to implementing systemic change for the betterment of Pennsylvania. We represent over 60 congregations from across the Greater Philadelphia area, transcending borders of race, faith, income level, and neighborhood. Learn more at www.powerinterfaith.org.