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To: Amnesty Kochanowski, Acting Superintendent of the Independence National Historical Park
No New Fossil Fuel Heating for Philadelphia's Historic Buildings
The National Park Service has plans to install new gas boilers to heat historic buildings in Philadelphia's Old City. This would mean that these locations would burn fossil fuels for decades.
The National Park Service should seek green alternatives to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.
Why is this important?
Recent scientific analysis shows that the Earth is at a critical tipping point and needs to make a quick shift to sustainable energy sources. Installing new fossil fuel equipment is the wrong decision for the planet -- and for Philadelphia. Our city is the 28th most polluted area in the country, according to the American Lung Association's 2023 State of Air report. Local entities, such as the National Park Service, need to demonstrate their concern for the health of Philadelphians living near their facilities.
Currently, the Steam Loop, managed by Vicinity Energy, provides heat to the historic buildings and the station. Vicinity Energy has committed to moving toward sustainable energy in the near future. If the National Park Service would stay on with the Steam Loop, they would eventually go green without making additional investments. Other options, such as solar and geothermal, deserve consideration as well.