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Consumer health advocates urge governor to sign bill package; NY protests for Jewish democracy heighten as Netanyahu meets UN today; Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election.

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The Pentagon wants to help service members denied benefits under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," advocates back a new federal office of gun violence prevention, and a top GOP member assures the Ukrainian president more help is coming.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Report: 30M Solar Homes Could Boost Jobs, Benefit Environment

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Thursday, July 22, 2021   

HARRISBURG, Pa. - With federal investment, a proposal to connect 30 million homes in the United States to solar energy could have a big impact in addressing climate change, reducing inequity and rebuilding the economy hit by the pandemic.

That's according to a new report from researchers behind the "30 Million Solar Homes Initiative."

The report found with the right policies in place, a solar program of this size would be comparable to closing 48 coal-fired power plants for a year, and lead to $69 billion in energy savings over the next five years.

Report coauthor Katie Kienbaum - senior researcher at the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance - said it also would create 1.7 million jobs across the country.

"The jobs potential is really just huge from rooftop and community solar systems," said Kienbaum. "It takes a lot more people to scramble on rooftops, put those solar panels up, versus building them in a huge field. And that would also, you know, happen in communities across the country."

Pennsylvania could grow its solar-powered housing stock by one million with federal support and see 6,000 megawatts in new solar capacity, according to the report.

Joan and George Rittenberger live in western Pennsylvania, a region historically known as coal country. The retirees, who come from a family of miners, joined their local solar co-op and had panels installed last year.

Joan Rittenberger said for them, it's about making sure they leave a good place to live for their grandchildren.

"You know, we really need to get on the ball and start doing things," said Rittenberger. "Because there's going to be a lot of places that, I think, are going to be not good places to live. It's going to be too hot, too wet; the water's rising, forest fires. So, we're hoping to leave it a little better when we're gone."

The campaign is calling for $500 billion in federal investment for local solar and clean energy projects. Its policy package includes a goal to use 75% of those funds for clean energy that benefits marginalized communities.




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