Judge Rules in Favor of POWER and Environmental Stakeholders

Judge Rules in Favor of POWER and Environmental Stakeholders

PECO IGNORES NEEDS FOR CLEAN AIR AND HEALTHY COMMUNITIES:

PECO ATTEMPTS TO RESTRICT PUBLIC INPUT IN ITS DEFAULT SERVICE PROGRAM CASE

PHILADELPHIA, PA—On May 19, Administrative Law Judge Eranda Vero ruled in favor of POWER and a group of Environmental Stakeholders in support of the public’s rights to have a voice in our energy future. On May 11, PECO took the highly unusual step of filing a motion to prohibit members of the public from expressing support for clean energy or concerns about climate change in connection with PECO’s procurement of electricity. PECO’s motion specifically called out POWER, and requested that POWER members be barred from testifying about the benefits of clean energy and the health impacts of fossil fuel generation. 

As the climate crisis and COVID-19 collide, with disastrous results for Black, Brown, and low-income communities, PECO seeks approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to keep doing “business as usual.” PECO’s proposed Default Service Program, will determine how PECO will source the electricity it serves to most of its ratepayers. PECO’s motion seeks to bar members of the public from testifying at a public hearing about clean energy, climate change, and resiliency, among other topics.

PECO’s motion was immediately challenged by POWER, other environmental organizations, and the Philadelphia Solar Energy Association, an alliance of environmental groups with legal support from Earthjustice. The Environmental Stakeholders and partners have intervened to ensure that PECO properly considers clean energy alternatives, as the case will determine how PECO ensures reliable service to the majority of its customers for the next five years and challenges the current environmental racism and fossil fuel economy that threatens our communities with worse COVID impacts. Approximately 70% of PECO’s customers are currently default service customers and will be directly affected by the outcome of this case.

The Administrative Law Judge’s decision is here: http://www.puc.pa.gov//pcdocs/1663595.docx. The public hearing for this case has been preliminarily scheduled for June 9. Press are invited and encouraged to cover this public struggle over our energy and health future, which will likely occur telephonically.

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POWER is an interfaith organization committed to implementing systemic change for the betterment of Pennsylvania. We represent populace from across the Greater Philadelphia area and Southeastern and Central parts of the state, transcending borders across race, faith, income level, and neighborhood. Learn more at www.powerinterfaith.org.

Contact: Rabbi Julie Greenberg, JGreenberg@powerinterfaith.org