Yesterday’s post in the Inquirer titled U.S. won’t weaken oil-train public disclosure rules was heartening.  The Federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration referred to transparency when they denied the railroads request to keep railroad data about large volumes of crude oil exempt from Freedom of Information Act and not even tell first responders, let alone the public. They said that

“transparency is a critical piece of the federal government’s comprehensive approach to safety,” the agency said it supported “the public disclosure of this information to the extent allowed by applicable state, local, and tribal laws.”

Another heartening piece of news is the energy policy of Jim Kenney, the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia. His May 4th press release refers to an

“open and democratic process for any decisions made about the economic development and energy future of our city, a process that is based on the best data available and that includes our neighborhood associations, local businesses, working people and citizen groups.”

Here Mr Kenney also noted that

“We do not need to pit good jobs and a thriving economy against clean air, clean water and the health of our children. We can and must have both.”

On that note, we’d like to share what New York City groups have done.

ALIGN (Alliance for a Greater New York) had a forum this past December called Climate Works for All where they released a document called Climate Works for All: A Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities, and Creating Good Jobs for New Yorkers.  We particularly like their focus on reducing emissions. And involvement with unions. And would love to implement Large Building Energy Efficiency Retrofits, as explained in Chapter 2, and installing Solar on the 100 largest schools, as explained on Chapter 5.

Three of the people behind the NYC effort will be speaking here in Philadelphia this Tuesday, the evening of June 2nd. We’d like to invite all to this event, to initiate discussions about our energy future. Details below.

Event: Labor, Community & the Climate Crisis: Building Alliances for Economic & Environmental Justice
When: Tue June 2 6:30-8:30pm – Doors open at 6:00 pm – Snacks will be provided.
IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 98, 1719 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130
What: Learn about Climate Works for All – the groundbreaking effort out of New York City where unions, environmental and community groups have joined in coalition to create policies that will create thousands of good jobs, dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions, promote racial justice, and make the city more resilient. Thanks to their organizing, the city government is already making important changes, and Mayor de Blasio has announced an ambitious plan for promoting economic and environmental justice.

The Climate Works for All coalition has created a 10-point platform that calls for retrofitting all of NYC’s large buildings to be more energy efficient, installing solar panels on 100 public schools, expanding public transportation, and seven other projects. Together, these initiatives would create nearly 40,000 living wage jobs and move NYC one third of the way toward the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

Who: Key leaders from NYC have generously offered to share their plans, ideas, and experience with us. We will learn about their inspiring work and discuss what we can do here in Philly.

  • Jon Forster — Co-chair of the People’s Climate Movement-NY; Vice President of District Council 37, AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees); City Research Scientist at the Bureau of Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
  • Josh Kellermann — Senior Policy and Research Analyst at ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York (an affiliate of Jobs with Justice), and lead author of Climate Works for All: A Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities, and Creating Good Jobs for New Yorkers.
  • Eddie Bautista — Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance

Co-sponsors: 15 Now Philadelphia; 215 People’s Alliance; 350 PhillyAction United; American Vegan Society; Be the Change; Bread and Roses Community Fund; Caucus of Working Educators; Clean Air CouncilClean Water Action Pennsylvania; Coalition for Peace Action – Pennsylvania; Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition; Eco-Justice Working Group of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting; Faculty & Staff Federation of Community College of Phila., AFT 2026, Executive Committee; Food and Water Watch-Pennsylvania; Jewish Labor Committee – Philadelphia Chapter; Maypop Collective for Climate and Economic Justice; PASNAP (Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals); Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air; Pennsylvania Federation of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees/International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Philadelphia Chapter of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light; Philadelphia Jewish Climate Action Network; Philadelphia Jobs with Justice; Philadelphia MoveOn Council; Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks; PhilaPOSH (Philadelphia Project on Occupational Safety and Health); Philly Coalition of Labor Union Women; Physicians for Social Responsibility – Philadelphia ChapterProtecting Our Waters; Put People First PA; Sierra Club Southeastern Pennsylvania Group; The Shalom Center; United Autoworkers Local 1981; United Steelworkers Local 404
: IBEW Local 98
RSVP here:
Contact: To co-sponsor or questions, Mitch Chanin |

As you can see, it brings together quite a diverse mix of local groups. I’m both surprised and pleased to read this quote from Ban Ki-Moon “If we can’t all swim together, we will sink. There is no Plan B because there is no Planet B” in this post.