The Punch List – 6/29/18

Good news for the environment and the economy. Pennsylvania employs 86,000 clean energy workers, with clean energy jobs becoming more plentiful in all areas of the state. Allegheny County is topping the state with nearly 12,000 of those jobs. The majority of the clean energy jobs in PA are in energy efficiency, but with many in renewable energy (especially solar) as well. And those workers are making household-sustaining wages. 

Honoring trailblazers in Western PA sustainable building. GBA announced the recipients of the GBA 25th Anniversary Awards to projects in Western PA that are innovative, inspirational, and sustainable. The projects will be honored at this year’s Emerald Evening and 25th Anniversary Awards gala on September 20th.

Jobs vs. Environment. Locals are concerned about the new Shell ethane cracker plant and pipeline that runs through three PA counties and the tri-state area. Pros for the fracking? Hundreds of jobs – rural jobs that are badly needed. Cons? Environmental and health issues, like contaminated water and two million tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year. A timely debacle, as regional politicians are attempting to achieve climate goals on a local level, yet still provide rural job opportunities. 

And more fracking – along the environmentalist’s trail. The Rachel Carson Trail has a new landmark: a shale gas well from Range Resources. Named after a key player in the early environmental movement, the trail now runs along some industrial activities like power lines and a coal ash pile. Portions of the trail were rerouted due to the new rig, just in time for last weekend’s annual 35-mile hiking challenge

Keeping up with the Science Center. The Carnegie Science Center opened the PPG Science Pavilion addition earlier in June – but now there’s more. Scalo Solar Solutions donated 96 solar bifacial solar panels to the Center that will produce 36,000 kilowatt-hours each year. The panels bring a new learning component to visitors, allowing them to view an energy consumption monitoring feed linked to the panels.

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