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Archive for January, 2015


Say No to Exelon!

Tue Jan 27, 2015 at 01:52:37 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

Testify Before DC Government! Say NO to Exelon!

DC Environmental Network:

This Thursday, January 29th at 9:00 AM, join the DC Environmental Network, PowerDC, and others, at the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs Public Roundtable on the Exelon/Pepco merger (and other utility issues).

DCEN was very proud last Friday when many District residents and advocacy organizations testified before the Committee on Transportation and the Environment and stated clearly:

– The Pepco-Exelon Merger Would Hurt the District’s Poor & Middle Class Residents!
– The Pepco-Exelon Merger Would Hurt the District’s Progress and Targets for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency!
– The Pepco-Exelon Merger Would Dramatically Decrease Local Control of Our Electricity!

Exelon, a corporation that claims to care about global warming and fair energy costs, did not even show up.

Now we all have another opportunity to tell the DC Council we need their strong and united voices to defend the public good and call on the Public Service Commission to deny this merger.

Former Pepco Executive and DC Councilmember Vincent Orange, who chairs the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs, has called another public roundtable on the merger that will occur this Thursday at 9:00 AM.

The roundtable will occur at the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 500.

We have a lot of work to do to defeat this plan. But if everyone does their part, we have a chance to protect the progress we have made to increase the amount of renewable, clean energy available to our city and make sure that poor and middle income residents are not unduly burdened with unfair rate increases.

Please Come to the Hearing and Say NO to Exelon!

DCEN asks all of you to consider testifying at this public roundtable and letting the Council, and indirectly, the Public Service Commission, know that the District should deny the merger application and say NO to Exelon.

If you cannot testify, please consider submitting testimony on you own.

Here are some helpful links:

Notice of Public Roundtable for January 29th at 9:00 AM. (Directions for Submitting Testimony to the DC Council)
Power DC Website

Also, show up if you can and show support for those who are going to testify.

Hope to see you Thursday. All are welcome.

Chris Weiss
Executive Director
DC Environmental Network



Yes to Renewable Energy, No to Nuclear Power!

Fri Jan 23, 2015 at 06:28:50 AM EST

By Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

All Metro-Washington Environmental Organizations, Activists and others are Invited to Our Monthly Networking Opportunity!

Energiewende No Background

Exelon Corporation wants to build and grow the District of Columbia’s energy future with its dangerous and costly nuclear power plants and have District residents pay for it. Come learn about an alternative to Exelon’s vision, the German Energiewende, that includes more renewables, such as wind and solar, and the visionary and pragmatic commitment to close all German nuclear power plants by 2022.

What kind of energy future do we want in the District?

The District of Columbia’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is poised to make a very important decision about the future of energy in the District of Columbia. The PSC is going to decide if Exelon Corporation, with its 24 nuclear power plants and aggressive advocacy, at the local and national level, against renewable energy, is going to take control of Pepco.

On February 5th at Noon, join the DC Environmental Network and Green Cross International for a very inspiring and enlightening alternative vision and presentation that will showcase Germany’s Energiewende or “energy transition” that is transforming the country by implementing an aggressive plan to generate 80% of its electricity from renewable sources by mid-century and moving Germany towards the closing of ALL its nuclear power plants by 2022.

Come learn about an alternative clean energy vision that makes economic sense.

Our panel will include:

Bastian Hermisson, Executive Director, Heinrich Böll Foundation’s North America Office (bio)
Paul Walker, Director, Environmental Security and Sustainability, Green Cross International (bio)
Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network (Moderator)

Come join this important discussion and learn about the successes and challenges the German Energiewende has experienced since 2011. More importantly, be inspired by the possibilities this example brings to the District of Columbia and surrounding region.

RSVP here to participate and learn.

All are welcome.


We ALL Need to Help Stop the Exelon/Pepco Merger!

Fri Jan 16, 2015 at 06:07:59 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

DC Council Chairman Mendelson: Say NO to Exelon!

Via Email, January 16, 2015

ATTN: Phil Mendelson, Chairman
District of Columbia Council
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

RE: We ALL Need to HELP STOP the Exelon/Pepco Merger!

Dear Chairman Mendelson:

A few months ago, at a meeting on the fossil fuel divestiture bill that you introduced, I shared with you how I believe the acquisition by Exelon of Pepco is a threat to District efforts to become a renewable energy leader, combat climate change, and bring the promise of clean, affordable energy to all District residents.

We are pleased that Councilmember Mary Cheh, Chair of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, has recently announced a Public Oversight Roundtable on the potential environmental effects of Exelon’s proposed acquisition of Pepco.

However, the DC Environmental Network (DCEN) believes that this hearing is only one of many steps the Council and its individual members should take in response to this threat. DCEN believes the stakes are so high, that you, and hopefully your colleagues on the Council, will take an active role in expressing opposition to this mis-guided merger.

What happens if the merger is approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC)?

– The Pepco-Exelon Merger Would Hurt the District’s Poor & Middle Class Residents!
– The Pepco-Exelon Merger Would Hurt the District’s Progress and Targets for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency!
– The Pepco-Exelon Merger Would Dramatically Decrease Local Control of Our Electricity!

Learn more here!

Chicago to DC A2 FINAL b5

The DC Environmental Network (DCEN), DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, DC Chapter of Sierra Club, DC Climate Action, DC Consumer Utility Board (DC CUB), DC Divest, DC For Democracy, DC Jobs with Justice, DC Tenants’ Advocacy Coalition (TENAC), DC Working Families, Empower DC, Energy Justice Network, Grid 2.0 Working Group, Interfaith Power and Light and many others are working hard to oppose this merger.

We need you to join us! Not doing so puts your work and support on behalf of renewables and affordable energy for all District residents at risk.

The DC Environmental Network strongly urges you to:

– Testify or submit testimony to the Public Service Commission (PSC) in opposition to the Exelon/Pepco merger. The last PSC public hearing is on January 20th at 6:00 PM at the University of the District of Columbia Community College Conference Room (801 North Capitol Street, NE). SEE PowerDC website for more information!

– On January 23rd at 11:00 AM, participate in the Committee on Transportation and the Environment Oversight Roundtable on the Potential Environmental Effects of Exelon’s Proposed Acquisition of Pepco.

This is a big deal and the Council should not sit on the sidelines without taking a bold stand. It’s that important.

Chris Weiss
Executive Director
DC Environmental Network



Momentum is building against the proposed Exelon-Pepco merger right when we need it most. On Monday night, DC residents and business leaders turned out to set the record straight on why the merger would be a bad deal for the District. On Tuesday, more than 100 Maryland residents appeared at a Montgomery County hearing, demonstrating overwhelming opposition to the plan.

No Pepco Exelon Merger! FINALBut it’s not over yet, and the battle is far from won. The final Public Service Commission (PSC) hearing on the plan is on Tuesday, Jan. 20th at 6pm, and we need a huge turnout to send them a signal.

Click here to register to testify against the merger.

At the last hearing, citizens of the District made a clear case for rejecting Exelon’s aggressive advances. If Exelon wins, residents will be left to pick up the tab for the company’s expensive nuclear power and the astronomical decommissioning costs associated with reactors. And Exelon’s track record clearly shows they are willing to play dirty—by crippling local solar and wind power—to maximize their own profits.

The risks are simply too great. We can’t afford to gamble with DC’s reputation as a leader in renewable energy, and we can’t risk shipping control of our energy—and the jobs that go with that—halfway across the country.

Let’s keep the momentum strong. Please join us along with Power DC on Tuesday, Jan. 20th at 6pm and tell the PSC that they need to serve residents’ interests, not corporate interests.

If you can’t attend in person, you can still make your voice heard by submitting testimony online here. Together we can keep our rates low and our energy grid on a sustainable path forward.

Thanks so much!



First DCEN Networking Event in 2015 was a Success!

Thu Jan 15, 2015 at 11:49:58 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

What Happens When You Put 100+ Greenies in the Same, Small Room? Quite a bit happens!

We had a great networking event last week that included:

112 participants representing many different institutions and organizations.
– District Department of the Environment (DDOE) Acting-Director, Tommy Wells, gave a brief overview of his approach to leading this important agency. SEE VIDEO!
– During introductions we went around the room and EVERYONE shared what their priority issues were for 2015. It was an impressive display of the interests of the local sustainability community.
– We presented DC Environmental Network Advocacy Awards to Councilmember McDuffie, Councilmember Cheh, and to Council staff, Nicole Rentz and Ronan Gulstone, for their sponsorship, support and help for a number of initiatives important to DCEN and the broader sustainability community.

DCEN presented a partial list of 2015 priorities including (partial):

STOP COLD the EXELON/PEPCO merger because it’s bad for the poor and the environment.
– Work to grow the District’s Electronic Waste Infrastructure.
Expand the District’s RPS to match the challenges from California & New York.
– Continue to work towards making the District a zero waste city.
– Work with IMGRebel, DDOE and broader sustainability community to implement Recycle-By-Design, to spur innovation and increase the District’s waste diversion from landfill and incineration.
– Work with the wildlife, nature, and academic community to pass a Sense of the Council (SOC) resolution in support of Biophilic principles that can help connect us to nature. (short-term)
– Continue to create opportunities to network and grow the sustainability movement in the District.


We all achieved our goal of creating some early momentum for District sustainability issues in 2015.




Wed Jan 14, 2015 at 11:52:08 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network


You Still Have Ten Days to Join the “Keep Winter Cold” Polar Bear Plunge!

DC Environmental Network:

When I visited the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) last week, James McGarry, Mike Tidwell and Ted Glick (see picture) made me an offer I could not refuse. They asked me to let DCEN know about the annual “Keep Winter Cold” Polar Bear Plunge that is scheduled for Saturday January 24th.

The Polar Bear Plunge is CCAN’s biggest fundraising event, powering victories to move our region off of fossil fuels and to clean energy. Each year, activists, friends and families show their commitment to fighting climate change by jumping in the icy Potomac River. And guess what? You still have time to sign-up!

In the last year, CCAN has been a powerful ally, with the DC Environmental Network, in efforts to make the District of Columbia a clean energy leader by promoting policies to expand the use of renewables and reduce carbon emissions. I don’t usually do financial advocacy up front but it’s hard to not recognize the passion and commitment CCAN puts into all they do in the region. DCEN will also need to count on CCAN’s support in upcoming efforts to move our climate protection campaigns to the next level.

This is a much too long way of saying join over 200 climate activists and sign-up for the exciting, fun and important “Keep Winter Cold” Polar Bear Plunge.  Here are the three simple steps to joining the fun:

1. Go to and hit the green “Register” button to get started. Follow the easy prompts to create your personalized fundraising page and set your goal.
2. Invite your friends, family and colleagues to sponsor your plunge.
3. Come to National Harbor, MD on January 24th and bask in the bragging rights that come with your icy dip!

If you cannot participate, please consider joining me in sponsoring James McGarry’s Polar Bear Plunge. James worked hard with DCEN, the last twelve months to promote clean renewable energy. He deserves our support.

Click Here! Join me in helping James go beyond his $1,000 Polar Bear Plunge goal!


Chris Weiss
DC Environmental Network