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.
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.
— 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nominations to the Public Utility Commission— which has nothing to do with the RGGI regulation– unless the proposal is withdrawn.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.
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.