Quakers hold pray-in for PECO climate justice

PHILADELPHIA — A group of 30 Quakers and others were ushered out of PECO headquarters where they held a pray-in today, calling for the company to get out of the business of climate destruction and to invest instead in local green energy and new jobs. The peaceful worshipers said they were following a Quaker tradition of confronting injustice with the belief that God’s light can open a new path.

“PECO’s dirty business sends $400 million in profit out of our region, while my nephew misses school because of coughing and asthma attacks,” said Greg Holt of Earth Quaker Action Team. “I’m praying for the courage to hold PECO accountable for our kids’ future.”

Dirty electricity is the largest source of carbon pollution in our region, while local clean energy jobs can help alleviate poverty.

“I have faith that PECO can make a different choice,” said Lina Blount, a leader of the worship. “The light of the sun is a gift for all of us, but the communities that need it most are where folks struggle to keep the power on. PECO should prioritize jobs and lower energy bills for low-income families.”

For the past two years, interfaith groups have been calling for PECO to deploy an equitable transition to clean energy. Previously, the campaigners walked 100 miles through PECO’s five-county region to talk about the benefits of local solar jobs, and have vowed to keep pushing PECO to leave fossil fuels behind. PECO has responded with hosting solar meetings and floating legislation to directly own solar generation.

In 2017, the City of Philadelphia agreed with scientists on the need for a rapid change to 100% clean energy, but PECO has not committed to support that future.

Power Local Green Jobs is a faith-based economic justice campaign led by Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) and Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER). Begun in 2015, the campaign uses nonviolent direct action to pressure PECO, the largest utility in PA, to spur job growth through solar expansion in areas with high unemployment. Learn more at www.powerinterfaith.org and www.eqat.org.