Gosh Josh

Environmentalists were thrilled when our Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, went after shale gas frackers and filed criminal charges that many felt were long overdue, yet didn’t go nearly far enough. It gave us the sense that he fully understood the health and environmental consequences related to fracking and fossil fuel extraction.

That sense of enthusiasm was quickly wiped-away this week, when we got a glimpse at his developing gubernatorial campaign platform. My big surprise was his apparent lack of support for ‘Reggie’ or the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which would move our Commonwealth forward in addressing climate change. RGGI is the main part of our current governor’s plan to address climate change.

Pennsylvania DEP:
“Joining RGGI will lower Pennsylvania’s CO2 emissions by between 97 and 227 million tons by 2030. Emission of other harmful pollutants like nitrogen oxides,  sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter emissions will also drop significantly. These reductions will particularly benefit those most often impacted by marginal air quality, such as children and at-risk seniors, especially in low income and environmental justice communities.” Pa DEP Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

“We need to take real action to address climate change, protect and create energy jobs and ensure Pennsylvania has reliable, affordable and clean power for the long term. As governor, I will implement an energy strategy which passes that test, and it’s not clear to me that RGGI does.”

Josh Shapiro – October 27, 2021 PennLive
“We need to take real action to address climate change…
It’s not clear to me that RGGI does.”
Really Josh?
This is yours and our defining moment, and there is no ‘Planet B.’

The Wolf Administration estimates the avoided pollution would create more than $6 billion worth of health benefits over the next decade and cut the number of asthma attacks for children aged 6-18 by more than 45,000. RGGI states have seen economic growth over the life of the program. PA DEP projections show a net increase of 27,000 jobs under RGGI.

StateImpact Pennsylvania – October 29, 2021

Josh is beginning to sound more like a politician who is hedging his bets in order to gain votes (and contributions?) from the fossil fuel industry, while risking the loss of green votes. He can’t have it both ways.

It will be interesting to see how he fine tunes his message on RGGI, climate change and the environment in the coming months, and then decide whether or not he still has my vote. The governorship has been the only failsafe we’ve had to wild west, pro-fracking legislation in Pennsylvania.

#LetsGet Real

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