Environmental activists and clergy joined forces during a protest at PECO headquarters in Philadelphia to push for clean-energy options.

Environmental activists and clergy joined forces during a protest at PECO headquarters in Philadelphia to push for clean-energy options.

Clergy Join Activists, Demand More Clean Energy from Local Utility

Clean energy is on the agenda, as POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild), an interfaith group that includes St. Vincent DePaul Parish in Germantown, joins forces with the local environmental group, EQAT (Earth Quaker Action Team). The two groups are seeking a commitment from PECO, the local electric utility, to pursue solar energy and create local jobs.

The environmental concerns of POWER and EQAT are compounded by racial and economic inequality. “There’s a lot of that toxic stuff, but it disproportionately affects African-American communities,” said Eileen Flanagan of the Earth Quaker Action Team. She noted that Latino and Native American communities also experience increased health risks from the burning of fossil fuels for energy.

The two groups propose building solar panels on the rooftop of buildings owned by Temple University, Girard College and PECO. Total acreage would be nearly 200 acres upon which to generate clean energy.

In addition, they believe their proposal will create local jobs. In a statement, Rabbi Julie Greenberg of POWER said, “In a neighborhood desperate for jobs, North Philadelphia’s vast acreage of flat rooftops is an asset crying out for development.”

Here’s a link to the full article from The Philadelphia Tribune.