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Straight Talk: PA Environmental and Clean Energy Groups Denounce Repeal of Clean Power Plan

Coalition calls for state leadership to grow Pennsylvania’s clean energy economy

COALITION STATEMENT  –  CLEAN POWER PA

HARRISBURG (October 9, 2017) – The Clean Power PA Coalition decried today’s announcement by  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt that he will initiate action on Tuesday, October 10 to repeal the Clean Power Plan. Pruitt’s EPA has no serious plan to replace the Obama administration’s climate rule, and his decision to withdraw it represents an implicit rejection of well-established climate science. Comprised of Pennsylvania’s leading environmental, clean energy, public health, faith and conservation groups, the coalition issued the following statement in response to Administrator Pruitt’s actions:

“Scrapping the Clean Power Plan will have direct impacts upon the health and well-being of current and future generations of Pennsylvanians. Crafting a new climate change regulation from scratch, if they even decide to do so, could lead to years of delays, endangering Pennsylvania families and putting the United States behind other countries in building a 21st century clean energy economy.

“While the Trump administration has abdicated its responsibility to protect our public health and safety, it’s time for elected officials across Pennsylvania to move forwards, not back.

“Some leading elected officials have taken steps towards responsible leadership by pledging to achieve the Clean Power Plan’s emissions reduction targets in the absence of federal action. For example, State Senators Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) have proposed legislation designed to ensure the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection works toward meeting the carbon pollution reductions set forth by the Clean Power Plan.

“Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto have committed to those reductions, as well, and adopted the additional goal of achieving 100 percent clean energy usage for city government operations. These elected officials are in line with the clear majority of Pennsylvanians, who understand that the United States is in a global competition to build a clean energy economy that strengthens businesses, boosts jobs, and fuels sustainable growth Mayors from Lancaster to Allentown to Mount Pocono have also affirmed that they are “still in” to meet the emissions reductions targets of the Paris accord.

“Governor Wolf and lawmakers in Harrisburg must intensify their efforts to make Pennsylvania a leader in the rapidly expanding clean energy economy by advancing policies that combat climate change while fostering innovation and lowering costs.  Pennsylvania cannot rely on natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as some have argued because switching out coal-fired power for gas-fired power would lock in more carbon dioxide and methane emissions than we can afford in the long run, even as it cuts emissions in the short term. Pennsylvania needs instead to move decisively towards energy efficiency and renewable energy.  A strong step would be for Governor Wolf to add Pennsylvania to the bipartisan and growing list of states pledged to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition that has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in keeping with the Paris Climate Accord. Such a commitment would signal that Pennsylvania intends to lead in the absence of federal action on climate change and wants to attract investment in a clean energy economy.

“There are 70,000 Pennsylvania jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors, which are experiencing strong annual growth. Pennsylvania also has at least six major employers that have voiced support for the Paris accord, including corporations such as: Amazon, with thirteen fulfillment centers across the state; Campbell Soup, with two manufacturing sites in Pennsylvania; Google, employing more than 400 people in Pennsylvania, with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; and Walmart, with 162 retail units and 53,004 employees in the commonwealth.

“Administrator Pruitt’s actions will not deter us from our mission. We will continue to push for a comprehensive strategy to tackle climate change with commonsense policies that will strengthen our economy, protect our health and fulfill our right to clean air under Pennsylvania’s constitution, and build the clean energy future Pennsylvanians want and deserve.”

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The Clean Power PA Coalition is a group of clean energy, business, faith, and community leaders committed to protecting Pennsylvania’s environment and powering its economy through clean energy. The coalition includes the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), PennFuture, Clean Air Council, Moms Clean Air Force, Penn Environment, NextGen Climate America, Conservation Voters of PA, Clean Water Action, Voces VerdesSierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Audubon Pennsylvania, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Philadelphia , Climate Parents, Partnership for Policy Integrity, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association, Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, Sustainable Pittsburgh and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

For more information, visit www.cleanpowerpa.org

Link to statement