November 2023 Newsletter

Please note:  change of monthly meeting date because of Thanksgiving.  Next meeting is on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 5:30.

     Last month at our State College CCL meeting an attentive and large group heard about climate initiatives in the Centre Region from Pam Adams, Sustainability Planner for the Council of Governments.  Her description of the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) confirmed that our chapter’s focus on electrification is right in line with that plan and will help them to meet the ambitious goals that they have set.  Thank you, Pam, for your committed leadership and inspiring words.
     At our November 14 meeting (note change of date), we will continue our work on electrification with special attention to considering objectives for each of our groups.  What specifically are we hoping to accomplish this year?  What can each of us do to spread the word about the benefits of electrification and solar?  How can we get other people engaged in this work?
     Please join us to learn the ways our teams are already getting involved in the community.  Electrification work is satisfying because we can see immediately (or almost immediately) the fruits of our efforts.  If you think there is nothing you can do to help with climate change, then you obviously have not attended a CCL meeting before.  
     Exciting things are happening at the state and national level that we also support.  See below for ways that you can influence our elected officials.  For a great opportunity to learn more about what is going on in Washington, tune in to the CCL virtual fall conference on Saturday (details below).
     I look forward to seeing you at our November meeting.
Sylvia Neely

Monthly Chapter Meeting
Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Fellowship Hall
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
780 Waupelani Drive
State College, PA 16801

In this newsletter
–CCL Fall Conference
–Write or call about legislation
–CCL Volunteers in Action
–PA Solar Center application deadline
–Community News
–Climate News

CCL Virtual Conference this weekend, Nov. 4 and 5
     CCL’s conferences are always inspiring.  This year, the theme of the CCL virtual fall conference is “Grassroots Rising: Leveling Up in the Climate Fight.”  It will feature keynote speakers Van Jones (a CNN commentator) and Dr. Danny Richter (one of CCL’s founding members, a brilliant analyst and engaging speaker).  You will also have access to many breakout sessions, as well as an in-depth Sunday seminar of your choice.  You will get an inside look into what is happening in Washington from CCL’s legislative team as well as remarks from Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND).  Register to receive the zoom links to this free conference.

 Use your power to influence legislation
     One of CCL’s main goals is to empower average citizens to express their views to their elected officials.  This is the positive side of “lobbying.”  Below are three issues that need our support.  Write to Dick Jones if you have any questions.

1.  Write about community solar
     Dick Jones is coordinating a drive to communicate with our state government to encourage climate action.  Our first focus will be community solar.  To learn more about community solar and why it should be legal in PA, read the OpEd that Dick published in the Centre Daily Times on October 8.  This link takes you to our website.  You can read the OpEd, even if you are not a subscriber to the CDT.
     Here are some templates Dick has created that you can use as is or modify as you like to write to your elected state official.  Once you have written, please let Dick know so that we can keep track of the numbers of communications.
Letter to state senator             Letter to state representative
List of local representatives     Resources on Community Solar

2.  Write in Support of Carbon Fee and Dividend
             CCL’s highest priority is for Congress to enact a fee on carbon pollution and give the money raised back to the American public through a “carbon cash-back” dividend.
             So, we are thrilled that a bill (HR 5744) to enact the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. CCL is asking everyone to write to their Congressional representative and ask for support for this act.
             Simply click here, follow the prompts and with about two button pushes you can create a letter to Rep. Glenn Thompson in support of this act. CCL has made this process easy, and it takes about one minute. Some of you have already done this. We know that the following from our chapter have written: Jacquelyn Bonomo, Bob Carline, Kelly Forest, Autumn Graham, Dick Jones, Wayne Laubscher, Paul Merritt, Sue Smith, Daniel Vecellio, Dan Welker and Tracy White. But we need more. Please write.
             As most of you know, a price on carbon is the “gold standard” measure to produce the greatest reduction of fossil fuel pollution. It came very close to becoming law in the last Congress and we’re hopeful for positive action this time around.

3.  Call to Support the Big Wires Act
     The BIG WIRES Act (H.R.5551/S.2827) has been introduced in the Senate and the House. It has the potential to pass as part of a Congressional funding package this year.
     CCL National is asking us to call our members of Congress to signal support for the Big Wires Act which requires regions to be able to transfer 30% of their peak demand between each other. However, it’s totally technology-neutral, meaning it doesn’t specify how regions need to achieve that 30% mark. They can use any method(s) they want, including: Building new transmission linesUpgrading existing facilitiesIncreasing energy efficiency to reduce peak demandImplementing grid-enhancing technologies (like advanced power control flows, dynamic line ratings, etc.)Adding new generation or storage to move more power     This bill will be the focus of CCL’s November lobby days, so CCL asks for as many calls as possible to generate attention and interest in Congress now. CCL’s Click-to-Call tool makes it easy to contact to your members of Congress. Ask them to cosponsor the BIG WIRES Act so we can take the next step forward in permitting reform!
CCL volunteers in action 

Dan Alters commented before the Bellefonte Borough Council on October 2 regarding a proposal before the council to remove the electric charging stations from the borough.  He also wrote a letter on the subject published in the October 15 weekend issue of the Centre Daily Times
CCL member Kathryn Pollard has just published a book entitled, Eating Does It:  Healing Ourselves and Our Planet with Food (Healthy Learning).  You can buy the book and chat with Kathy at a book signing at Webster’s on Sunday morning, Nov. 5 from 10:30 to 11:30.  We want to wish Kathy well as she moves to Massachusetts and to thank her for all the work she has done for CCL.  We will miss her.

Diane Mills tabled at the Punkin Chunkin event held in Howard on Oct. 21. 
Our chapter participated in the Sustainable Happy Hour event held on a beautiful fall afternoon on October 11 at Boal City Brewing in Boalsburg.  Kelly Forest gave a presentation discussing residential solar and the benefits she has derived from installing solar.  Lisa Richardson and Sylvia Neely talked to many interested individuals about electrification, rebatesand solar as they staffed our CCL table.  This event was sponsored by the Centre Region Council of Governments and the League of Women Voters of Centre County.

GET Solar applications deadline 
If you know of a small business or non-profit that is thinking about installing solar, please encourage them to explore how the PA Solar Center can help them in the process.  The Center guides you through the planning and financing of your solar project and does so free of charge if you qualify.  In this round of applications, they are focusing on the Centre Region.  This opportunity will not last long, so check out their webinar, then apply.
The application deadline has been extended to 11/30 and there will be an informational webinar on 11/16 at 12 pm.  Here is the link to register for the webinar. The application process is easy, requiring only the application form and electricity bills. 

 Community News

Website on clean energy choices
Penn State grads came up with a way to make it easier for PA residents to switch to clean energy.  As part of a course assignment, four students created a website that easily guides residential customers to the options they have on electricity.  Check out Green Energy PA.  Read more about their work in this article.  

Agrivoltaics webinar – Nov. 16, noon
Penn State Extension will be offering a one-hour free webinar on “Agrivoltaics and Large-Scale Solar” on Nov. 16.  For more information and to register, click here.

Intersections Film Series – Nov. 15, 7 pm
Penn State’s Sustainability Institute continues its Intersections Film Series with short films on Appalachian flooding followed by a panel discussion. This free, virtual presentation will take place on Nov. 15 at 7 pm.
No Faith In Fossil Fuels | Nov 5, 1 pm – 5pm
On Sunday, November 5 from 1pm-5pm, as part of PA Interfaith Power & Light’s Annual Conference, a regional workshop will take place at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in State College. This year’s theme is “No Faith in Fossil Fuels”. Tickets are $8-$25, and all are welcome!  To learn more about the virtual keynote speaker, the regional gatherings, and how to register, click here.

Penn State Calendars
Many presentations that are relevant to our climate work are offered at Penn State, both in person and online.  Check out the calendars prepared by the Penn State Institute of Energy and the Environment and the Sustainability Institute to find many subjects of interest.

 Climate News

Update on RGGI
Inside Climate News published an article on the latest developments in Pennsylvania’s proposed membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Our state is still not taking part in this group and is missing out on a considerable amount of money that might be used for clean air measures.  Shapiro Advisors Endorse Emissions Curbs to Fight Climate Change but Don’t Embrace RGGI Membership. 
The Daily Climate
Nowadays there is plenty of information available on climate change, but even so we miss a lot of important news.  One site that I have been looking at for a long time is The Daily Climate, which compiles news stories on climate and the environment.  It is especially good at highlighting news from our own area.  Recently this article appeared, which I had not seen anywhere else:  800,000 tons of radioactive waste from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry has gone “missing”.  Their page is definitely worth checking out.
Batteries for all
A utility company in Vermont has come up with an innovative solution to the problem of how to provide enough electricity to everybody as we transition away from fossil fuels.  Instead of building expensive transmission lines that take a long time to get approved and completed, they are instead thinking outside the box and planning to give each of their customers a battery.  They figure this will be cheaper and more dependable. Vermont Utility Plans to End Outages by Giving Customers Batteries

And finally a fun video in honor of Halloween that you can watch on YouTube.  Mr. Heat Pump Goes to Washington.  Too late for this year, but you can use this idea for your Halloween costume next year and call attention to how cool heat pumps are.

 Any questions about climate change policy or CCL’s initiatives? 
Sylvia Neely at
Lisa Richardson at
October 2023 Newsletter

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