Time for ambitious leadership from PECO on jobs and climate change
The second meeting of PECO’s Solar Stakeholder Collaborative will be later this month on September 21, and PECO is expected to announce initial plans. In an open letter to PECO CEO Craig Adams, the interfaith Power Local Green Jobs campaign reminds the company that what is needed is a shift to solar large enough to impact climate change and address the need for local jobs.
Under pressure from the campaign, PECO convened the first gathering of community, city, and industry leaders interested in promoting local solar power on June 23.
OPEN LETTER BELOW:
Dear Craig Adams,
We look forward to hearing at the next Solar Stakeholder Collaborative what steps PECO will take to advance local solar. As you finalize plans for this meeting, we want to remind you of the values and aims that are most important to the two organizations leading the Power Local Green Jobs campaign: Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER) and Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT).
To show real leadership in building a twenty first century economy that relies on renewable energy and is economically inclusive, we expect PECO to:
1. Dramatically increase the purchase of local rooftop solar power so that 20% of PECO's electricity comes from roofs in its service area by 2025.
2. Spur solar installation on suitable roofs in high unemployment areas, starting in North Philadelphia, to economically benefit those communities.
3. Prioritize installation by local workers, especially from high unemployment areas.
As organizations grounded in a moral vision for our economy, we call on PECO to be a responsible corporate partner in building healthy communities on a livable planet. It has long been known that the fossil fuel economy has been most toxic for low-income communities, especially communities of color. It is long past time to transition to renewable energy, which has the added benefit of creating good local jobs. Affordable energy for low-income people and pathways to employment for those who need jobs most must be part of PECO’s plans going forward, as well as a commitment to get southeastern Pennsylvania to 20% solar by 2025.
If there is any doubt that we need to move this quickly, we need only look at the extreme weather this summer: suffocating heat in our region; record-breaking floods in Louisiana and West Virginia; California drought; ferocious wildfires in the west; hurricanes. More frequent and severe natural disasters are the predicted result from releasing CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, with people who are economically most disadvantaged hit hardest.
We hope and pray that you will commit to true leadership in taking the urgent action that is needed.
Board Chair, EQAT
Rev. Gregory Holston and Rabbi Julie Greenberg
Moral Economy Team, POWER