May 2023 Newsletter

Dear State College CCL folks,

There will be no chapter meeting this month. Our monthly meeting date for May coincides with Pennsylvania’s primary election day: May 16. Instead of a CCL meeting, you have a homework assignment: go to the polls and vote. At CCL we often say that the solution to climate change is democracy. The ballot is the foundation of democracy. Yet too many of us do not vote. The Environmental Voter Project estimates that 13 million Americans who self-identify as environmentalists did not vote in the 2022 mid-term elections. When environmentalists don’t vote, politicians don’t listen. Get in the habit of voting in every election. And if you want to do more than that, think about joining the Environmental Voter Project

Thank you 
Thank you to our members who tabled at the Earth Day celebration on the HUB Lawn at Penn State on Friday, April 21. They reported engaged attendance and beautiful weather for this lively event hosted by EcoAction. George Otto, Kelly Forest, Grace Oram, Sandy Hoyte, Greg Basarab, Diane Mills, Kathy Lee, and Autumn Lidgett. 

Grace Oram is moving to Meadville, PA for a new job doing field research in Lyme Disease. Grace has been a terrific volunteer for CCL in State College. She attended the national conference as our representative last year and was always willing to help with tabling. We want to wish her well in her new endeavors. 

Mark Neely wrote an OpEd published in the Centre Daily Times on April 9 commenting on the latest IPCC report: Climate Scientists are Speaking More Forcefully. 
Upcoming Events: 

We need volunteers to staff the tables for our busy “tabling season” which begins in June. If you can help, please contact Diane Mills at Here is the summer tabling schedule so far: June 10: Gay Pride Day, State College; June 17: Best of Clinton County, Lock Haven, 10:00-3:00; June 24: Gay Pride event, Triangle Park, Lock Haven; July 13-16: Central PA Festival of the Arts, State College, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church lawn; July 14-15: Riverfest, Lock Haven, 5:00-9:00 pm. 

June 10-13th CCL Annual International Conference, Washington DC 
Registration is taking place now for Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s annual meeting in DC in early June. We’d love for members of the State College Chapter to attend. If you need more information or a bit of financial assistance to offset the cost, talk to Sylvia or Lisa today! Deadline to register if you want to lobby on Capitol Hill is May 19. 

CCL’s current priorities 
From time to time, it is useful to reexamine our group’s priorities. CCL has four at present. They are: Carbon fee and dividend. The first priority remains the top priority because it is the single-most effective policy tool to reduce the carbon pollution that fuels global warming. Healthy forests. A healthy climate needs healthy forests. Building electrification and efficiency. Electrify America’s buildings. Bring the clean energy future to America’s doorsteps. Clean energy permitting reform. This will unlock the clean energy future that is waiting to be built. 

Yes, EVs ARE cleaner 
Perhaps you’ve heard the argument. It goes like this: “Electric cars don’t help the environment because they are powered by the grid and the grid is powered by coal.” This argument is wrong. An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that driving an EV causes greenhouse gas emissions comparable to an 88-mile-per-gallon gasoline fueled car. That’s based on the current average mix of energy sources in the U.S. power grid. In the eastern part of the RFC grid, which includes most of Pennsylvania, an EV’s emissions are equivalent to an 87-mpg gasoline-fueled car. In some areas of the country where the grid is “greenest” an EV produces less carbon pollution than a 100-mpg gasoline car. These numbers will only improve over time as the electric grid becomes “cleaner” in the transition to renewable energy. 

Community News: 
Penn State Climate Solutions Symposium to be held on May 22 and 23 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. For the program and link to registration, click here. Penn State Extension will be offering a webinar entitled “Siting and Zoning Considerations for Large-Scale Solar” on Thursday, May 18, 2023, from noon to 1 pm. The presentation is free, but registration is required. 

EnergyBiz Series 
Learn about the benefits available for energy-efficiency improvements in the last of this series sponsored by CBICC and COG. Free, but registration is required. Energy Efficiency for Business – June 8, 4 to 5 pm   

Homer City plant closing 
A large coal-fired power plant that supplies electricity to the State College area is scheduled to close. Here are the details. 

EU’s carbon border tax 
The EU has approved a carbon border tax. Here is an article from the New York Times describing its features and the reactions to it.  

Coal is dead? Well, maybe not. 
A couple of years ago a friend of mine who spent much of his career in public relations with a utility company in Connecticut moved back to his ancestral home of Mt. Carmel, PA in the anthracite coal region. What he found there surprised him. “Since my return, I’ve been taken aback by the number of large, wildcat coal operations that have popped up around here. The town is now virtually surrounded by them,” he told me. “The one to the west…has really expanded just in the last year. To the east, along the Centralia highway, the excavation there has yielded a mountain of waste coal that keeps piling up that may soon rival the one in Shamokin – second largest in the world. To the north, heading to Elysburg, I’ve spotted another project doing some serious excavating. Heading out of town over Merriam Mountain southward toward I-81, some coal operation has cleared out all the forestland and started an ugly coal excavating project.” Since practically no one in that area uses coal to heat anymore, he surmises that the demand for anthracite is coming from overseas—probably China. An April report by Global Energy Monitor, an organization that tracks energy projects, appears to confirm his hypothesis. Coal use rose in 2022 and “China accounted for 92 percent of all new coal project announcements.” News from the U.S. is better. A total of 13.5 gigawatts of coal-fired power was retired in this nation last year.   

This month’s newsletter was written by Dick Jones. 
April 2023 Newsletter
June 2023 Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *