Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Statement on HB 100 to Improve the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard

On February 19, we joined Rep. Vitali in his important message that Pennsylvania must work toward carbon neutrality and take a comprehensive approach to tackling climate change. One vehicle for putting that message into action is Rep. Vitali's HB 100, a bill that would strengthen our Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard to increase the share of our energy that comes from sources like wind and solar.

Supporting renewable energy creates jobs, spurs economic growth, and helps to clean up our air and water while reducing our contribution to climate change. Already, 10 states get at least 10% of their power from wind alone, but Pennsylvania is falling behind. In fact, a recent study found that we can produce up to 30% of our power from renewable energy by 2026 with only minimal transmission upgrades, all while saving money for Pennsylvania residents. (insert footnote with link: PJM Interconnection, "PJM Renewable Interconnection Study."

While neighboring states like Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey are better seizing the opportunities presented by renewable energy production, Pennsylvania has not updated its standards in over a decade. New Jersey’s Renewable Portfolio Standard is more than twice as aggressive as our own, and that state was recently listed as one of the top states for solar employment in the country. It is time for us to get on that list and take our place as a leader in clean energy.

Though efforts like HB 100, Pennsylvania has the opportunity to support the state's economy with family-sustaining jobs in the renewable energy sector while helping to reduce the Commonwealth's share of harmful pollution from fossil fuels. Strengthening our Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard is not just a step toward securing healthier communities in Pennsylvania, but will make our energy sector more competitive in the region's economy. We urge those Representatives who have not yet co-sponsored this bill to do so today and stand up for clean, healthy, and prosperous communities.

By Joanne Kilgour, Director
Sierra Club PA Chapter

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