About the Renewable Energy Coalition
The Renewable Energy Coalition is in formation and will be comprised of local, independently-owned businesses, including renewable energy producers, solar, wind and other renewable energy installers and developers, energy efficiency consultants and contractors; scientists and researchers; and advocates dedicated to building a just and sustainable, locally-based energy industry in Pennsylvania, one which will decentralize our energy system to bring green energy to all our communities and increase local self-reliance.
Pennsylvania has a pioneering energy history. Our coal miners fueled a world-renowned iron and steel manufacturing industry that brought jobs and prosperity to our state since the 1700’s! The world’s first oil well was drilled in our state in 1859. In 1957, Pennsylvania's Beaver County became home to the first commercial nuclear power plant in the United States. And, as we all know, the recent boom in natural gas drilling and processing has been explosive in our state.
Today, Pennsylvania has the opportunity to leverage our long history as an energy trailblazer by taking leadership in the world’s transition to clean energy. We have the skills, the institutions, the history, and an incredibly resourceful state, which allows us to claim our place as industry leaders… looking to the future, not the past. At the same time, as one of the top three states in greenhouse gas emissions, Pennsylvania must take responsibility to address the climate crisis, which threatens the future for all.
From the early days the captains of the fossil fuel industry have called the shots in Pennsylvania. Many of our politicians have forgotten they serve the citizens of PA and not corporations. The dangers of fracking, including claims of poisoned water and increased rates of cancer, and the danger of pipelines carrying highly explosive gas through Pennsylvania communities have alarmed citizens who have tried in vain to seek the help of our elected leaders. Additionally, by focusing our resources on natural gas extraction, our state runs the risk of being precariously dependent on one industry, putting not only our environment and communities at risk, but also our future economy.
The environmental consequences of burning carbon are clear: we face increasing weather chaos, rising seas, endangered cities and farms, dying wildlife and displaced populations of people and animals fleeing the effects of climate change. And, of course, the follow-on economic impact of all these disasters. We’ve been led to believe that fracked gas is a bridge fuel to renewable energy, yet there is no bridge. It is instead a dead end that is leaving us with continued dependence on fossil fuels well past the time we have available to address this critical challenge. This dependence is accompanied by a debt burden from investment in fracked gas infrastructure that will last for decades.
There is a viable alternative - producing electricity from clean and safe renewable resources such as solar, wind, hydro, biomass and geothermal. Pennsylvanian’s are taking the first steps to produce renewable energy that will someday replace the coal, oil, and gas that has traditionally powered our state. Energy produced by industrial arrays of solar panels and wind turbines is flowing from rural areas to towns and cities. Roof-top solar and geothermal wells are increasing in neighborhoods throughout the region. But change is too slow in coming. With urgency, our policies and investments must be directed full speed ahead to accelerate the growth of renewable energy to power our homes, businesses and vehicles safely and efficiently, as we join the global struggle to avoid climate catastrophe.
What We Do
What citizens can do to reduce carbons and support transition to renewable energy
Implement energy efficiency measures to reduce waste
Conduct an energy audit of your home or business to identify where heat or air conditioning are escaping. Repair leaks and increase insulation of walls and roof where needed, especially if you are remodeling, and replace windows with double or triple pane. When appliances wear out, replace with energy efficient models. Use energy-saving LED lightbulbs. Paint your roof white or install a green roof.
Purchase renewable electricity through a locally-owned third party producer.
Buying locally produced renewable energy builds our local self-reliance. In order to make a change from your “default” electric supplier, you need to go to https://www.papowerswitch.com. Once at the site, you will be led through the steps to evaluate and select a new supplier. We strongly suggest you “filter” the choices to “Renewable Energy,” “PA Wind,” and “Renewable PA." Contact Brent Groce, Coalition Coordinator, with any questions (click the "Contact Me" button at the bottom of the page).
Make your next car an electric vehicle. Walk and ride bikes when possible.
If your roof is suitable, install rooftop solar.
Transition to 100% electric homes
When remodeling, consider converting your home or business to 100% electric, and cut off natural gas. It is such a lift to call up the gas company to let them know you are off of this harmful fossil fuel for good! Fracking is decimating our rural and suburban counties at extraction and pipeline sites. When combined with rooftop solar, total energy costs decline.
Induction electric cooktops
Induction electric stoves are the most efficient way to cook. There is much more control in cooking than with a typical electric stove, and compares to gas.
Reduce consumption of all products that you don't need in order to eliminate the energy needed to produce unnecessary goods.
There’s really nothing more important than voting for candidates that support confronting the climate challenge. We need people in Harrisburg (and Washington, DC) that understand the climate crisis and are ready and willing to act to address it. Also, consider contributing to the campaigns of candidates from other districts of our state who are environmental champions and can bring change to Harrisburg.
What We're Reading
- “We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast” by Jonathan Safran Foer. This is a moving account of wrestling with the impact of our diet on climate change.
- “The Most Detailed Map of Auto Emissions in America”. You can zoom in on the changes in emissions by state and see that in PA we have increased our per person auto emissions since 1990 by between 9% (Philadelphia) and 28% (Scranton).
Want to get involved in the Renewable Energy Coalition?