Local legislators join fight to bring clean energy solutions

Daily Local News, 7/26/18

State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-156, right, Mayor Dianne Herrin, and West Chester University Director of Sustainability, Bradley Flamm, take questions at a clean energy forum promoting clean energy solutions Wednesday night.

West Chester >> On Wednesday night, PennEnvironment was joined by state Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, state Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-156, Mayor Dianne Herrin, and West Chester University Director of Sustainability, Bradley Flamm, to hold a clean energy forum promoting clean energy solutions and calling on Pennsylvania to transition to 100 percent renewable energy as quickly as possible.

Almost 90 Chester County residents joined the panelists Wednesday night at Mitchell Hall at West Chester University, filling the room to the point of standing room only. Event attendees submitted questions for the panelists, and an engaging discussion ensued about how residents can work together to push for clean energy and ensure a healthy, livable climate for all.

With record heat waves and torrential downpours hitting the state and wildfires burning across the West Coast, the need for clean energy solutions and moving off of fossil fuels to solve climate change could not be any clearer.

“As Pennsylvanians, we have a constitutionally-protected right to ‘clean air, pure water and the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment.’ We must continue to assert ourselves in defending and supporting those rights,” said Dinniman.

The state-elected officials in attendance both cosponsored legislation in the General Assembly that would require Pennsylvania to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. This legislation is HB2132 in the state House and SB1140 in the state Senate. Continue reading


West Chester mayor backs clean energy despite U.S. backing out of Paris accord

By Bill Rettew Jr., Daily Local News, 6/12/17

WEST CHESTER >> In light of President Donald Trump’s decision to dump the Paris accord, Mayor Jordan Norley is committed to meeting the clean energy goals of the agreement on a local level.

More than 150 mayors in the United States have endorsed the 100 percent clean energy goal, or making all use of energy clean and renewable, as part of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign.

“The people of this world have a fundamental right to the ingredients of life — clean air, clean water and a sustainable future,” Norley said. “There is no better place to take a stand than our own homes, our own communities. With our national politics, the action we can take is local.”

Locally, Norley supports the international Paris agreement which sets a voluntary 2 degrees Celsius guardrail, and meets clean energy goals, in a bid to maintain a stable climate and stable economy.

Norley wants local governments to have control.

“We reject the notion that the state or federal government can override our rights as a community to a sustainable future,” the mayor said….

read more at Daily Local News

Open the Door

by Dianne Herrin, West Chester

Hurricane Sandy is causing so much suffering, and I, like everyone, am very saddened by it. I am heartened, however, by the fact that politicians in high places (like New York’s Cuomo and Bloomberg) are finally issuing a public call for action on the climate crisis.

I have been working in my community for more than a decade to address climate change on the local level, and I don’t regret for a minute my many hours of grassroots advocacy in the name of energy conservation, energy efficiency and clean renewable energy. But I have learned a hard lesson: We desperately need leadership from the top. Without a clear and aggressive clean energy vision, our nation will continue to suffer – only on a much larger scale.

The good news is that President Obama has already started to lay the foundation for such a vision. He has been promoting energy efficiency on every front and creating clean energy research programs. However, he has done so behind closed doors, likely for fear of being attacked by the incredibly powerful fossil fuel industry and its many well-funded “think tanks.”

The potentially bad news is that Romney, on the other hand, publicly mocks climate change, wants to end wind energy incentives, and plans to unleash every dirty, destructive domestic energy source that remains deep under our soils and seas – in a move that will liberate more greenhouse gases into the air than we have emitted since the dawn of the industrial revolution. Respected climatologists say this will mean “Game Over” for our climate system – and the bountiful life-sustaining earth as we know it – and all in the name of short-term profit.  

I work on energy issues because I am a mother, and all of our children face a very hard future. We must vote for President Obama on Tuesday Nov 6th because, in a second term, he will have a chance to come all the way out of the climate change closet and put a clear vision into action. We, the people, can open this door (and then push him through it) so he can lead on climate change. Unlike Romney – who has shut this door, locked it, and thrown away the key – Obama offers hope.

The benefits to us will be many: A vigorous clean renewable energy jobs program, management of climate change and its terrifying human and financial consequences, and hope for our children’s future. This is nation-building at its finest, at a time when we need it most. Let’s open the door on election day.