Pennsylvanians' 100 Days of Climate Reform Action
When President Obama stated at his second inauguration that we have a moral obligation to fight climate change, Pennsylvanians saw it as a call to action. Over the past 100 days, a coalition of environmental groups including PennFuture, National Wildlife Federation, Clean Air Council, PennEnvironment, and Sierra Club have joined with Pennsylvania citizens to help fulfill that obligation by holding events across the state and generating more than 6,200 grassroots activities directed toward policymakers. These actions highlighted the need for the President and his administration to follow through on his promises to limit industrial carbon pollution that causes climate change and endangers the health of our communities.
"President Obama called climate action an 'obligation' and we spent the last 100 days showing the President we support his fulfillment of that obligation and look forward to his prioritizing American leadership on climate and clean energy during his second term," said Joy Bergey, federal policy director for PennFuture. "Right now, after the Obama Administration missed a recent court-ordered deadline, the EPA can finalize a Carbon Pollution Standard for power plants and then immediately turn its attention to curbing carbon pollution from existing power plants. These are the largest producer of dangerous carbon pollution, and a strong carbon pollution standard would be a major step forward in protecting public health, especially of our children and seniors."
In addition to the efforts in Pennsylvania, groups across the nation participated in many local actions over the last 100 days to highlight our climate action obligation that included:
1. 13,899 participants in climate change activities nationwide; and
17,226 grassroots activities nationwide, such as climate change awareness events, letter writing, and phone calls to policy makers.
Those who participated say we've waited long enough for our leaders to act to protect our health and build our economy using cleaner, safer energy technology.
"People of faith recognize that we have a moral calling to care for each other and for Creation. Every year, power plants dump more than two billion tons of dangerous industrial carbon pollution into our shared air, impairing our children's health and their futures. We can work to make our lives as energy-efficient as we can, but neither individuals nor congregations can change the way power is generated," said Cricket Eccleston Hunter, executive director of PA Interfaith Power & Light. "The EPA should complete the final version of the proposed and reviewed new source standards without further delay."
There are also benefits to the economy of moving forward. "Just as the Obama administration's clean car standards are helping rebuild the American auto industry, these power plant standards to protect human health will promote the innovation and investment needed to create jobs," said Christina Simeone, director of the PennFuture Energy Center.
PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization, founded in 1998, with staff in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre. PennFuture's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state, and federal courts; advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level; public education; and assisting citizens in public advocacy.
The Philadelphia Inquirer called PennFuture the "state's leading environmental advocacy organization;" the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named the organization "one of the 10 most influential groups on the issue of natural gas drilling;" and StateImpact Pennsylvania, an online collaboration of NPR stations across the state, called PennFuture "the commonwealth's main environmental advocate."
SOURCE Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture)
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly