Eric Lombardo - firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 977-5736
Phoenixville, Pa. – The Borough of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania on Tuesday became the 44th municipality in the United States and first in Pennsylvania to commit to transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy, showing that communities in the Keystone State are ready to embrace solar, wind, and all forms of renewable energy.
On Tuesday evening, the Phoenixville council unanimously approved a measure establishing a goal of transitioning entirely to renewable sources of electricity by 2035. The resolution calls on the community to prioritize locally produced carbon-free, pollution-free renewable energy from sources like wind, solar, and small-scale hydro.
At the public hearing portion of the borough council meeting, 20 residents and local activists testified their support for the measure. Phoenixville leaders later passed the commitment seven votes to zero.
Before this commitment, Mayor of Phoenixville Michael Speck endorsed a vision of 100 percent renewable energy for the borough. Other Chester County civic leaders have endorsed the same vision in their communities, such as Mayor Jordan Norley of West Chester and Mayor Josh Maxwell of Downingtown. Sustainability groups across the county are now working to follow Phoenixville’s lead by establishing similar commitments.
In June, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced his support for a goal of transitioning Philadelphia to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. At the time, Mayor Kenney represented the 100th mayor to sign this pledge, joining the growing coalition of Mayors for 100% Clean Energy. More than 150 mayors, including 11 from Pennsylvania, have now joined the initiative.
In response to Phoenixville’s commitment, local activists and community leaders issued the following statements:
"I am extremely happy that the resolution received unanimous support from Phoenixville's Borough Council. Being aware of the impact to tomorrow from the decisions we make today is part of our responsibility as members of Council. This resolution represents a decision that will be a benefit to future generations as it starts to plan for a Borough which is powered by renewable resources that are sustainable into the future. There is still work to be done, but this is a great start," said James Kovaleski, the Phoenixville Borough Council President.
Phoenixville Green Team President Mark J. Connolly said: “Phoenixville is proving that local community action is the way forward in creating global environmental and energy sustainability solutions.” The Green Team advocated for the passage of the resolution. The group promotes healthy, sustainable households and businesses in Phoenixville.
Carol Armstrong, Steering Committee Facilitator of The Way Forward, a group of Phoenixville activists involved in the resolution and working toward a just and sustainable planet, said: "Farmers, gardeners, landowners, and other land stewards are noticing how climate change is affecting their lives and work. Phoenixville borough has taken action and can provide leadership to the surrounding communities to look for ways to switch to renewable energy."
Jim Wylie, Sierra Club Volunteer on the Ready For 100 Campaign in Chester County, had this to say: “Sierra Club is working with several communities in Chester County that want to set aggressive and achievable goals to transition to 100% clean renewable energy. Regional collaboration, leadership and stakeholder involvement is what we need to keep us on a path to a clean energy future.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.