Visit website: proudpennsylvania.org

Proud Pennsylvania

A Campaign for Energy Leadership, Community Prosperity and Democratic Governance

Imagine living in a place that offers opportunity for our young people to find meaningful jobs, and even create businesses in an economy that is sustainable - socially, environmentally and financially. By working together toward a shared vision for Pennsylvania and sending like-minded representatives to Harrisburg, we can co-create an economy that builds community wealth, increases local self-reliance in basic needs and nurtures a natural environment that we can be proud to leave for future generations of Pennsylvanians

Proud Pennsylvania is a grassroots citizens’ campaign with a vision for a state that runs on 100% renewable energy; prospers from a network of flourishing regional economies; and is led by politicians who protect our natural resources, seek a resilient and just economy, and defend the integrity of our electoral system.

Energy Leadership

Pennsylvania has a pioneering energy history. The world’s first oil well was drilled in our state in the mid 1800’s, making Pennsylvania a world leader in energy production. Our coal miners fueled a world-renowned steel manufacturing industry that brought jobs and prosperity to our state. Today, Pennsylvania can continue our remarkable history by being a leader in the world’s transition to renewable energy.

The environmental consequences of burning carbon are clear: we face increasing weather chaos, rising seas, dying wildlife and displaced populations of people and animals fleeing the effects of climate change. We’ve been fed the line that fracked gas is a bridge fuel to renewables, yet there is no bridge. Rather it’s a dead end that is leaving us with continued dependence on fossil fuels, along with a 50-year debt burden from investment in fracked gas infrastructure – a decision that is increasing the danger of explosion and fire, poisoning of our water supply and releasing methane and carbon that is heating our planet.

While eminent domain is a tool meant to serve the common good, in our state it is being used to seize private land against our will only to enrich out-of-state corporations and complicit politicians. To add insult to our sacrifice, fracked gas is typically used to make plastic, further degrading our environment.  

There is a viable alternative - producing electricity from clean and safe renewable resources such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. With urgency, our investments must be directed full speed ahead to accelerate the growth of renewable energy to power our homes, businesses and vehicles safely and efficiently, as we join the global struggle to avoid climate catastrophe. 

Building Sustainable Regional Economies

Traditional economic development strategies based on increasing global exports and imports, and providing corporate subsidies from our tax dollars have increased the wealth and power of multinational corporations, while draining capital from our communities. We’ve become dependent on carbon-intensive, corporate controlled long distance shipping routes, vulnerable to disruption by climate chaos, to deliver the goods we need to survive. 

By developing a state economic development plan to build regional economies with local supply chains, we can replace imports with local production and increase our self-reliance in basic needs such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and food processing, sustainably grown fiber and clothing manufacturing, and green building materials. We can create many new businesses through developing an industrial hemp industry and replace imported pharmaceuticals by cultivating medical cannabis and other medicinal plants. 

Rather than subsidizing big box stores and chains found anywhere, state policies can support local, independent retailers; especially those that sell merchandise that is locally produced such as food, fashions, furniture and artisans goods.  Local businesses give character and identity to the Main Streets of our towns and cities, increase prosperity and build vibrant, joyful community life. The happiness and sense of well-being we find in visiting farmers markets and meeting those who grow our food, is multiplied when we know who bakes our bread, brews our beer, roasts our coffee, churns our ice cream and makes our clothing, 

Our state’s magnificent mountains, forests, streams and lakes are resources to be cherished. By protecting our natural recreation sites, supporting local arts and culture, including Native American heritage sites, and enhancing Main Streets with unique local shops, farm-to-table restaurants and local breweries and distilleries, Pennsylvania can grow our tourism industry and the jobs it brings. For locals, there is much to discover in our own home state. Rather than burning carbons to fly to distant resorts, we can drive electric cars to visit our state parks and spend our money in our small towns, helping our state to grow prosperous local economies, while enjoying all that Pennsylvania has to offer. 

The localism movement is well underway with a booming local food system. Local entrepreneurs are increasingly buying from local supply chains and consumers are shifting purchasing habits to support locally owned businesses. Local investment opportunities are increasing. When we invest locally, we get the benefit of not only a financial return, but a “living return” of living in more healthy and prosperous communities.

Democratic Governance

Since fossil fuels were first discovered, the corporate barons of oil, coal and now fracked gas have had their way in the politics of our state. Our politicians have been bribed, our citizens bullied and the public deceived about the consequences of extracting, transporting and burning fossil fuels.

Though Pennsylvania citizens have time after time sought protection from the dangers of fracking and gas pipelines, our state government has sided with the corporations, failing to protect our communities, waterways, nature preserves, and farmlands from the life-destroying impact of fossil fuels.  A rising tide of grassroots mass action and coordinated civil disobedience against new pipeline installation projects across our state demonstrate the will of the people to resist, despite the lack of government protection and support.  A number of these activists have stepped up to run for office, hoping to help lead a change in Harrisburg. 

Proud Pennsylvania supports candidates for the state legislature who are committed to:

1. Develop a plan to reach 100% renewable energy

Work with our state’s renewable energy CEOs, non-profit leaders, and leading energy scientists to develop a plan to provide 100% renewable energy to power our homes, businesses and vehicles safely and efficiently by 2050.  This plan must include an imminent date for the end of all new fossil fuel infrastructure, including extraction wells and mines, pipelines, refineries, and power plants, and dates for the dismantling of the current system leading to the shut down of all fossil fuel use in our state by 2050. Include requirements for fossil fuel companies to repair the land they have spoiled.

Take immediate steps to replace gas and oil by converting state buildings to run on renewable electricity and replacing the State’s fleet with electric vehicles. Provide charging stations at every Pennsylvania Turnpike rest stop, state park, police station, and other state facilities and charge with renewable electricity.

Launch a “Solarize Pennsylvania” campaign similar to the successful “Solarize Philadelphia” campaign to help citizens install rooftop solar more affordably through group purchasing and authorization. 

Pass legislation to enable community solar, where neighbors share in the ownership of a centrally located solar array, to unlock Pennsylvania’s solar potential for low and moderate-income communities across our state, and create many green jobs.

2. Develop a state economic development plan for building regional economies

Develop a statewide economic development plan that replaces corporate controlled imports with local production of basic needs such as food, fiber and fuel, which will create jobs, build community wealth, and increase local economic self-reliance and resilience in the face of a changing climate. Champion local business ownership, and encourage sourcing from local supply chains, providing meaningful living wage jobs, and working in harmony with natural systems. Support the development of cooperative business ownership – worker, consumer and producer cooperatives.

Offer job training in the sustainable economy for former fossil-fuel workers, returning citizens, and marginalized rural and urban communities. Provide local entrepreneurs access to education, capital and the resources they need to build thriving local economies. Ensure that ownership opportunities in growing industries are available to women and minority entrepreneurs. 

Value life over money.  Lead us in building a conscious economy where consumers, investors and business owners make economic decisions, not to maximize profits with narrow self-interest, but to maximize the well being of our communities and the eco-systems that our lives depend on.

3. Supporting government by and for the people

Challenge corporate power on behalf of our citizens to insure the right of local governments to protect their communities and eco-systems from industrial pollution and toxins, such as from fossil fuel development, industrial farming and pesticide use.

Get money out of politics. Support citizens’ efforts to stop corruption and the unethical influence of the fossil fuel industry in our state government by passing legislation for campaign finance reform, and ending legalized bribery and gerrymandering.

Protect voting rights and pass reform legislation, including automatic voter registration, which will ensure fair and accessible elections for all citizens. 

Strategy

Proud Pennsylvania seeks to build a state-wide, intergenerational, urban-rural movement that unites our state’s diverse citizenry, non-profit environmental and social justice organizations, family farmers, and local business owners, behind a shared vision for a just and sustainable economy. 

Partnering with Food & Water Action PAC, we are advocating for a slate of candidates running for the state legislature in districts across our state who share our vision and values and are raising money to support their campaigns. 

We can work together to send representatives to Harrisburg who will stand up to corporate power, address climate change, protect our food and watersheds, insure our safety from the dangers of fossil fuels, and bring greater health, wealth and happiness to our communities.