Pennsylvanians travel to Capitol to call for legislative leadership on bipartisan clean energy solutions
HARRISBURG– More than 100 residents across Pennsylvania traveled to the Capitol today with PennEnvironment to deliver a message to members of the General Assembly: it’s time to play a leadership role in pioneering climate and clean energy solutions.
“The world is watching as elected leaders in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Allentown and beyond commit to fight climate change,” said Adam Garber, Deputy Director of PennEnvironment, the statewide environmental advocacy organization which organized the lobby day. “With hundreds calling for clean energy solutions that cut pollution, protect our health, and save consumers money, it’s time for legislators to act.”
State Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) and State Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) addressed the rally participants as they began their day of legislative meetings and spoke about commonsense clean energy and energy efficiency policies that could benefit Pennsylvania’s economy and environment.
“In Pittsburgh, we recognize that a promising economic and environmental future is not mutually exclusive. We are thrilled to embrace new clean energy technologies and the good jobs that those bring,” said Senator Fontana of Pittsburgh. “We believe in a rational balance between our economic and environmental interests and we would much rather be aligned with the world’s scientific community in pursuit of worthy environmental goals than catering to some distorted rhetoric.”
Representative Kate Harper noted her plan to introduce PACE legislation that has already seen strong, bipartisan support in the state Senate, “In tight economic times, it makes sense to improve buildings with green, energy efficient features, but finding the money to do that is difficult. The PACE program is a financing method that should please environmentalists and commercial real estate interests alike.”
During dozens of meetings with legislators in the Capitol, Pennsylvania voters asked them to support clean energy solutions including:
- PACE (SB 234) would provide low-cost financing for clean energy and efficiency upgrades to commercial properties and has bipartisan support from 27 state Senators and will be introduced soon by Rep. Harper;
- Solar Jobs Bill (SB 404) would stimulate Pennsylvania’s home-grown solar industry by requiring solar be built in Pennsylvania to meet the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard and has bipartisan support from 17 state Senators;
- PA for Paris legislation that would hold Pennsylvania to reducing climate pollution from power plants by 32% by 2030 and was introduced in the wake of President Trump pulling the U.S. out of Paris Climate Accord;
- Protect Act 129, Pennsylvania’s signature energy efficiency program, that has helped save consumers billions on their utility bills.
According to the United States Department of Energy, Pennsylvania is home to 70,000 clean energy jobs and the legislation discussed. Building a clean energy future in Pennsylvania could put thousands of additional people to work deploying clean, renewable wind and solar energy while improving energy efficiency – and lowering utility costs – for homes, schools and businesses in every corner of the state.
“While President Trump said he pulled out of the landmark Paris climate agreement to protect Pittsburgh, the reality is that Pennsylvanians across our commonwealth support policies to fight climate change,” Garber said. “We can no longer wait for Washington to act. Harrisburg must lead the charge in building a 21st century clean energy economy that will compete on the world stage.”