Concerned residents and activists of the Earth Quaker Action Team protested the expansion of Constellation Energy’s Croydon generating station on River Road Wednesday.
The oil – fueled electrical facilities span large parcels of land off the banks of the Delaware River and are currently funded by the nearly $8 trillion RIA company, part of Vanguard Group Inc.
As a Quaker-based climate activism group, the nonviolent grassroots organization has pushed for more responsible care of the environment across state lines, previously targeting PECO’s practices.
Ryan Leitner, senior campaign organizer of EQAT, explained the Croydon site is not the only location the group is protesting in its current “Points of Destruction” tour, which, she emphasized, focuses on the “money trail left behind by Vanguard.”
Bucks County and Philadelphia residents, as well as those from Delaware, expressed disappointment in Vanguard’s ongoing investments in a company that causes environmental devastation and burdens local communities. Some at the protesters expressed dismay that they had investments with Vanguard.
“It is not responsible to put our money into unclean energy,” said Dana Robinson, a longtime member of EQAT. He cited examples of the pollution- heavy sites of Plymouth and Southwark Philadelphia, each of which were a part of the tour. The presence of Vanguard- funded facilities that use unclean energy and fossil fuels are prominent throughout Pennsylvania, which has a number of fracking sites and incinerators, she said.
Han Peters, a Bucks County resident who attended the protest, said fossil fuels have “no redeeming qualities anymore.”
The protesters made passionate speeches, interspersed with songs conveying their message of concern for the environment and the need to invest in clean energy.
“Fossil fuels are harmful for the future generations,” declared Erica Burman. She described Vanguard as “one of the worst voters on anti- fossil fuel options.” EQAT hopes to push Vanguard to invest in cleaner options such as solar, wind, and geothermal -based energy, in addition to hydroelectric power, all of which are viable options in Pennsylvania, she added.
“A lot of people are afraid of losing jobs,” Peters said, explaining why the transition to clean energy is often met with resistance from some workers and industry leaders.
“I believe it’s a problem of will,” EQAT member John Magee told the crowd. “I believe it is time for Vanguard to take responsibility and listen to us.”
“If they could use their money into clean energy, they could make a change,” Robinson commented.
Another stop on the “Points of Destruction” tour is an upcoming visit to Malvern, Pennsylvania, where Vanguard has its headquarters.