September 9, 2016
ISSUE | ENVIRONMENT Electing renewable-energy backers is critical Pope Francis provided heroic leadership in his call to all people of faith to adopt personal practices of environmental stewardship, such as turning off lights not in use and taking public transportation or carpooling ("Pope elevates care for planet to an eighth work of mercy," Friday). Framing them as "works of mercy" makes a clear connection between environmental stewardship and spiritual practice. While these small acts of personal environmental piety are a necessary foundation, they will not be enough to bend the arc of climate change toward a sustainable environment.
July 23, 2016
ISSUE | FRACKING Air quality at risk A study showing that fracking may be worsening asthma for those who live near such oil- and gas-drilling operations should not come as a surprise ("Fracking may worsen asthma for nearby residents, study says," Philly.com, Monday). We already know that oil and gas infrastructure leaks smog-forming compounds and toxic pollutants into our air at an alarming rate, and the findings published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine are only the latest in a string of research conducted in Pennsylvania showing correlations between fracking and health issues.
July 17, 2016 |
More than 66,000 Pennsylvanians worked last year in the clean energy industry at 5,900 businesses, up 15.7 percent from 2014, according to a report compiled by two advocacy groups. About 53,000 Pennsylvanians work in the energy-efficiency sector, including manufacturers of equipment and installers of high-efficiency systems, according to the report by the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance and Environmental Entrepreneurs. Another 8,800 worked in renewable energy, including about 5,200 who spend at least half their time working in solar.
July 5, 2016 |
Power outages could be a worry of the past for businesses in one Chester County township if a proposed solar-powered electrical grid becomes reality. Developers want to build one of the region's first solar microgrids on what was once a problem-plagued landfill in East Whiteland Township. The $15 million system would have more than 11,000 solar panels spanning 30 acres, and produce six to seven megawatts of power specifically for local businesses. A microgrid can connect to an area's main electrical grid, or it can function autonomously, continuing to run during mass outages due, for example, to severe weather.
May 25, 2016
By Michael Brune Clean energy is already replacing fossil fuels. The truth is, just as computers replaced typewriters and cellphones replaced landlines, modern clean energy will replace outdated fossil fuels - it's just a matter of how quickly. And that's because people around the country are starting to see that the transition from dirty fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas to clean energy is best viewed not as an obligation but as an opportunity. We're all familiar with the problems that should motivate us to move beyond dirty fuels: air pollution and asthma, water pollution, climate instability, volatile prices, and reliance on overseas oil sources.
April 19, 2016
ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016 McGinty the best Democrat for Senate seat In its endorsement of Joe Sestak for U.S. Senate ("Sestak gets primary nod," April 10), the Inquirer gave short shrift to Katie McGinty's candidacy, saying her campaign has not shown that she is ready for the Senate. Fitness for office should be judged by the candidate's experience and performance in other jobs, not by four months of the campaign: As head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, McGinty drove an agenda that delivered historic gains on renewable energy and ecosystem protection, ensured clean air and water, and restored Florida's Everglades.
March 31, 2016 |
The U.S. Energy Department's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab has selected the Navy Yard and its "microgrid" as the site for a study on new technology for advanced electrical distribution and controls, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. announced Tuesday. The study, which will take advantage of the Navy Yard's advanced power grid, will focus on how to make local electric distribution systems more reliable and create capabilities for the energy industry to deploy renewable energy within local communities, PIDC said.
March 10, 2016
ISSUE | FRACKING Health, jobs suffer A commentary failed to mention the negative impacts of fracking ("Fracking is key to expansion of Pa. manufacturing," Friday). Studies have shown that pollution from gas infrastructure has devastating health impacts on nearby communities, such as increased hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease. Air pollution-leaks from the gas industry include methane, a potent greenhouse gas that exacerbates climate change. Fortunately, Gov. Wolf recently announced a plan to significantly slash such leaks.
February 27, 2016
ISSUE | NUCLEAR POWER Pro: Clean, cheap, and reliable The production of clean electrical energy is getting a boost from nuclear power. Developments to expand and extend the use of nuclear plants include: The U.S. Department of Energy's granting of a permit that could lead to construction of a small modular reactor in Idaho. The NuScale SMR would be situated below ground and produce 50 megawatts of electricity for a fraction of the cost of building a large power plant. Its innovative design eliminates many of the valves, pumps, and pipes used in nuclear plants.
January 4, 2016
ISSUE | ENERGY N.J.'s green goals The New Jersey Senate passed a bill last month that establishes renewable-energy portfolio standards and requires a percentage of our electricity to come from Class I renewable energy. This percentage would increase every five years to 2050, with a goal of reaching 80 percent renewable. The bill, which was referred to the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, needs to be posted by Jan. 11 to pass the Assembly. Solar, wind, and geothermal power, microgrids, and wave technologies can be used to reach these goals.