Media, PA – On Saturday afternoon, PennEnvironment was joined by State Senator Tom Killion and State Representative Chris Quinn to hold a clean energy expo promoting clean energy solutions and calling on Pennsylvania to transition to 100% renewable energy as quickly as possible. With record heat waves and torrential downpours hitting the state and wildfires burning across the west coast, the need for clean energy solutions and moving off of fossil fuels to solve climate change could not be any clearer.
“Eliminating the use of fossil fuels here in the Commonwealth would save consumers money, reduce harmful air pollution, and combat climate change,” said Thomas Fogel, Climate Defender Organizer for Delaware County at PennEnvironment. “We applaud Senator Killion and Representative Quinn for cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to make Pennsylvania a leader in tackling climate change.”
The state elected officials in attendance have all cosponsored legislation in the General Assembly that would require Pennsylvania to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. This legislation is HB2132 in the state House and SB1140 in the state Senate.
“Renewable energy is critical to Pennsylvania’s future,” said State Senator Tom Killion, who will become the primary sponsor of SB1140 in the coming year. “Our legislation provides a pathway to reduce greenhouse gases and make the environment healthier for all citizens. The expo highlights this important issue and shows many other ways we can protect our environment.”
Citizens met with businesses centered in the Delaware Valley, including East Green Energy, PECO, Tesla, and more to learn about clean energy solutions that are already in place. A panel of speakers including Jim Wylie from Ready For 100, Nancy Sharts-Hopko of Villanova University, David Powell from Powell Pump and Well, and Kelly Flanigan of PennEnvironment spoke to the attendees about the importance of renewable energy and answered questions about how Delaware County can lead this transition.
“It is important that residents are made aware of environmental issues that not only affect our community, but the rest of the Commonwealth,” State Representative Chris Quinn stated. “We want to inform everyone about what the state is doing to address these issues and also provide information on various renewable energy solutions and products that can be utilized to move our state towards renewable energy.”
Pennsylvania currently has over 85,000 jobs in the clean energy sector, a number which will only climb as the Commonwealth continues to invest in renewable energy. Despite Pennsylvania’s long standing history in fossil fuel extraction, the clean energy sector now has more jobs than all fossil fuel sectors combined. Today’s event showed the strong economic potential from transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
“Community leaders are realizing that doing energy planning is as important as doing land planning and traffic planning,” said Jim Wylie, volunteer chair of the Sierra Club’s SEPA Group and a leader of the Ready For 100 Campaign. “And they are realizing that achieving our goals of 100% renewable energy community-wide will be a whole lot easier if we collaborate with other communities, and we get some help in the form of updated energy policy by the state of Pennsylvania.”
The event attendees and elected officials committed to continue working together to fight climate change and bring about a 100% renewable energy future, helping to ensure a livable climate for future generations of Pennsylvanians.
PennEnvironment is holding events like this throughout the Delaware Valley to educate local residents and elected officials, and to increase activism and engagement in the fight to solve climate change.
PennEnvironment is a citizen-based, statewide environmental advocacy organization working to ensure clean air, clean water, and protecting Pennsylvania’s great natural heritage. For more information about this and other PennEnvironment projects, visit www.PennEnvironment.org.