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Philadelphia, Jan. 29, 2015 City Council on Thursday took another significant step toward generating more energy jobs and economic activity in Philadelphia.

A resolution to authorize the creation of the Special Committee on Energy Opportunities for Philadelphia was introduced by Councilman At-Large David Oh and sponsored by all members of City Council. The Special Committee will review and investigate proposals to achieve City Council’s Energy Hub objectives: Enhanced financial and operational performance of the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW); more employment and skills training opportunities for Philadelphia residents; and increased regional participation in the new energy economy with a focus on environmental health and sustainability.

“The potential for the Greater Philadelphia region to become a major player in the energy sector is enormous, unprecedented — and as of now, untapped,” City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said. “Too many Philadelphians can’t find work, and too many of those who do work are trapped by wage stagnation. Given our natural gifts – close proximity to the Marcellus Shale, strategic location in the Northeast corridor – it would be irresponsible of the City to not seek new paths for economic growth in the energy industry.”

Last November, City Council held two days of hearings on Philadelphia’s potential to become a regional energy hub. Council President Clarke on Thursday named Councilman Bobby Henon (6th District) and Councilwoman Marian Tasco (9th District) the co-chairs of the Special Committee on Energy Opportunities.

“On March 6, 2014, the day of the Mayor’s budget address, we told the public very clearly that City Council does not support the privatization or outsourcing of municipal jobs. Since then, we have been overwhelmed by positive responses from energy companies that see opportunities for PGW, a very well-run and financially healthy company, to become an even more valuable municipal asset,” Councilwoman Tasco said.

“City Council has been clear: Philadelphia must adapt to the new energy economy in a way that results in more family-sustaining jobs and economic activity, not less; more protections for low-income households and seniors, not less; and more sustainable energy solutions, not less,” Councilman Henon said.

Additional appointments to the Special Committee and meeting dates will be announced in coming weeks.

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