REALITY CHECK: WALKING THE TALK ON CLEAN ENERGY
Written by Charles Ellison on November 25, 2019
Philly Thrive activists, filling up seats in yellow shirts along the red velvet carpeting of Philadelphia City Council’s main chamber Thursday, felt a bit cheated. What had originally started out as a much more strongly worded resolution on the future of the shuttered Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery site—authored by outgoing Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown—ended up watered down and ambiguous.
What was needed was something much more muscular and strongly worded – something that said, unwaveringly, that the Council wants no bidding of any kind proposing reinstituted fossil fuel use of the site. An ordinance, something with actual regulatory teeth to do something, would have been preferred. But, instead, advocates got the soft sense of the Council, a powerless resolution on a very powerful matter that would simply offer “strong interest” in and “enthusiastic support” of bids “aligned” with the city’s Clean Energy goals. Not all that particularly satisfied (and who could blame them), Philly Thrive members stormed from City Council chambers to the Mayor’s office demanding a meet up in the immediate future. (The deputy City Manager set a date for early December.)