GOP Legislators Trying to Kill Clean Energy in Pennsylvania

In this day and age, with all we’ve learned about climate change and the disastrous effects it’s already having on our Commonwealth, it’s hard to believe there can be this kind of stone age thinking ‘under the dome’ in Harrisburg, Pa, led by none other than Gene Yaw and his backward thinking Republican cronies.
From the Pennsylvania Environment Digest Blog edited by David E. Hess, former Secretary, Pa Department of Environmental Protection:
Senate Committee Moves Bill to Prohibit Communities from Promoting Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency

On October 19, the Senate Local Government Committee amended and reported out Senate Bill 275 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) which would limit the ability of communities to offer new and clean energy sources and energy efficiency programs by locking in the status quo, in particular natural gas.

The bill was reported out on a party-line vote– Republicans supporting— and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

The amendment  attempted to deal with some of the concerns expressed at a hearing on the legislation [Read more here], but does not alter its fundamental purpose.


Part of Larger Effort to Kill Renewable Energy

May 11, 2021 – This legislation is part of a larger effort by conservative Senate and House Republicans to slow or kill renewable energy projects in Pennsylvania. 

In addition to this legislation, Republicans have introduced or plan to introduce bills to–

— Stop state support for solar energy projects with any foreign components, which every energy generation source has.  Read more here.

— Introduced legislation to require recycling of solar panels through the state’s broken state Electronic Waste Recycling Program (Senate Bill 530 (Dush-R-Jefferson).  Read more here.

— Senate Republicans reported legislation out of committee to take away DEP’s authority to adopt a Carbon Pollution Reduction Program covering power plants (RGGI) – SenateHouse 

— Threatened to hold up nominations to the Public Utility Commission— which has nothing to do with the RGGI regulation– unless the proposal is withdrawn.  Read more here


The Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan

Why Does Pennsylvania Need a Climate Action Plan?

In recent years, extreme weather and catastrophic natural disasters have become more frequent and
more intense. Like many parts of the United States, Pennsylvania is expected to experience higher
temperatures, changes in precipitation, sea level rise, and more frequent extreme events and flooding
because of climate change in the coming decades
. Climate impacts in Pennsylvania are already occurring
and put Pennsylvanians and local industries at risk. Key impacts include:

More frequent extreme weather events, including large storms, periods of drought, heat waves, heavier snowfalls, and an increase in overall precipitation variability, with increased infrastructure disruption and need for emergency management.

Increased risks of injury and death from extreme weather events.

Increased human health risks from air pollution, diminished water quality, and heat stress such as exacerbated asthma or increased water-borne illnesses.

Changing pest, weed, and disease management challenges for farmers and livestock producers.

Increased demand for energy, particularly during warmer summer months, meaning higher energy costs for consumers and increased strain on the grid to provide reliable power.

More frequent flooding and associated disruptions due to sea level rise in communities and cities in the Delaware River Basin, including the city of Philadelphia.

Potential for wetland drying in the Ridge and Valley ecoregion, resulting in loss of habitat for multiple wetland-dependent species, including many birds, frogs, salamanders, fish and fur-bearing mammals.

Changing conditions for plant and animal species, with economic impacts to the timber industry, hunting, and fishing industries, and ecotourism.

Changes in rainfall, snowfall, heat, and other conditions that will affect outdoor recreation, transportation, and general use of the outdoors.

Potential for degraded water quality in the tidal freshwater portion of the Delaware estuary.

Complete 2018 Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan (PDF) 2021 Action Plan (PDF)

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