Clean Energy for All
Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania (PSR PA) believes that fenceline and frontline communities experience the worst consequences of unconventional gas development and climate change. For the past year PSR PA has been working with researchers to assess levels of radon and radon decay products across communities in Pennsylvania. Our study with researchers from Wayne State University and UPMC is focused on the elevated levels in the concentrations of Radium (226Ra), Radon (222Rn), Lead (210Pb) and Polonium (210Po) in the environment due to shale gas development and/or unconventional natural gas drilling and evaluate associated radiation impact on human health. This study is expanding to include a citizen science component focusing on air quality in and around sites like the Philadelphia PES Refinery.
In Philadelphia we are working with Built to Last and Drexel University to track indoor air quality in old home pre and post restoration. The goal is to create healthier homes and understand how the old unsafe housing stock is affecting the health of city residents. Since 80% of the homes in Philadelphia are over 40 years old, we are partnering with the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability to work within the Neighborhood Energy Centers to better understand the energy burden being placed on residents due to extreme weather/temperature events and unsafe levels of toxins from old gas combustion appliances. It is crucial that our programs address the concerns of impacted individuals and engage them in mitigation or adaptation strategies.
Renewable energy is a priority for public health. Not only do fossil fuels contribute to climate change, but their pollution also affects public health in ways large and small. PSR Pennsylvania supports the transition to clean energy to protect our communities.
Beyond just promoting renewable energy, PSR supports a 'just transition' that does not leave poor and minority communities behind and at continued or greater risk. Thanks to the US Climate Action Network, PSR Pennsylvania and our partner Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) are working to support this transition.
See the infographic below on the benefits of a just transition to us all:
In addition to promoting renewable energy, we must also prioritize energy efficiency and and that means using our energy grid as much as possible. The US energy grid is far cleaner than it was just a decade ago, with renewable energy like Wind and Solar making up bigger and bigger shares of our energy production. Meanwhile, use of Coal has fallen steadily. To make best use of these gains PSR Pennsylvania also promotes the use of electric home appliances - most notably Heat Pumps and Induction Ranges. These products are both very energy efficient AND utilize cleaner grid electricity, rather than burning harmful gas in your home. Thanks to our partners at PSR National and the Energy Foundation, we are able to support these technologies.
See the infographic to learn more about the benefits of Heat Pumps and induction cook tops:
Other Resources Discussing the
Need for Clean Energy Transition
Nuclear weapons abolition has been a core issue since our inception. PSR PA amplifies the health professional voice to increase and broaden grassroots support for nuclear weapons abolition and to cultivate legislative initiatives to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons.